Story at a glance:
- The New York attorney general’s office lists key details on the sexual harassment and assault allegations against Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
- The report also found that Cuomo and some of his staffers created an “atmosphere of fear and intimidation” that normalized and covered up Cuomo’s behavior.
- "The governor made specific denials of conduct that the complainants recalled clearly ... we found his denials to lack credibility and to be inconsistent with the weight of the evidence obtained during our investigation," the report concluded.
The New York attorney general’s office, headed by Attorney General Latita James, listed almost a dozen specific allegations against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who is embroiled in a sexual harassment and assault scandal while in office.
The report, released Tuesday, finds that Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women from 2013 to 2020 and created an “atmosphere of fear and intimidation” throughout, even retaliating against a former employee who complained publicly about his conduct.
In reaction to the Tuesday announcement, fellow Democrats have called on the governor to step down and face criminal charges.
Here are the 10 major takeaways from the report, as reported by NBC News:
- With one woman named Executive Assistant #1, Cuomo is alleged to have kissed her on the cheeks, forehead and lips at least once; grabbed her butt during a hug; and asked whether she would cheat or had cheated on her husband. He is also accused of reaching under her blouse and grabbing her breast.
- A female New York state trooper assigned to be the governor’s security said on several occasions that Coumo touched her inappropriately and kissed her. On one occasion, he ran "his hand across her stomach, from her belly button to her right hip" as she held a door open.
- In another instance, when the trooper was standing in front of him in an elevator, Cuomo ran "his finger down her back, from the top of her neck down her spine to the middle of her back, saying 'hey, you.'" Cuomo kissed the trooper on her cheek in front of other troopers and asked to be kissed back, according to other troopers who corroborated the accounts.
- Charlotte Bennett was an aide for Cuomo in 2020, and he is accused of a series of inappropriate comments directed at her. In one comment, Cuomo told Bennett “in talking about potential girlfriends for him, that he would be willing to date someone who was as young as 22 years old (he knew Bennett was 25 at the time)." Cuomo also suggested that his aide should get a tattoo on her butt, and he tried to guess if she had piercings anywhere besides her ears.
- Virginia Limmiatis came forward with her story that Cuomo inappropriately touched her at an event in 2017, where she was wearing a t-shirt with her employer’s name written across the chest. The report details that Cuomo ran "two fingers across her chest, pressing down on each of the letters as he did so and reading out the name of the energy company as he went." Cuomo then brushed his hand in the area between her shoulder and breasts.
- Before and during her time as an aide to Cuomo, Lindsey Boylan endured inappropriate comments and touching from the governor. Cuomo once suggested they "play strip poker" while on a plane. He also touched her on various parts of her body, including her waist, legs, and back, and kissed her on the cheeks and, once, on the lips, she told investigators. People corroborated her allegations, "including ones the Governor and the Executive Chamber denied."
- Between 2013 and 2015, Ana Liss who worked for Cuomo said he "kissed her on the cheeks and hand, touched and held her hands, and slid his hand around her lower waist." The feeling of being assaulted at the governor’s office felt as if she entered "the twilight zone," where "the typical rules did not apply.”
- CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, the governor’s younger brother, and Lis Smith, a former top communications aide for Pete Buttigieg's presidential campaign, were two of several people advising Andrew Cuomo on how to respond to the allegations.
- In his testimony statement, Cuomo "denied inappropriately touching Executive Assistant #1, Trooper #1, State Entity Employee #1, or Ms. Limmiatis in the way they described, and he generally denied touching anyone inappropriately."
"The governor did state that he often hugs and kisses people, mostly on the cheek and sometimes on the forehead," but specifically denied kissing Executive Assistant #1 or Boylan. Investigators also said that regarding Cuomo's conversations with Bennett, "the governor testified that he had 'tread[ed] very lightly, because with a victim of sexual assault — and she was clearly fragile and in a delicate place — [he] was very careful' in his conversations with her." The governor also denied saying many of the things she accused him of.
- The report continues to detail: "Where the governor made specific denials of conduct that the complainants recalled clearly ... we found his denials to lack credibility and to be inconsistent with the weight of the evidence obtained during our investigation. We also found the governor’s denials and explanations around specific allegations to be contrived," the report found, contradicting his denials. The women who made allegations have described Cuomo's conduct as "deeply humiliating," and "uncomfortable," and they described the work environment as "extremely toxic."
As Changing America previously reported, overall, 11 women were listed in the report as victims of harassment by Cuomo between 2013 and 2020.
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