The Albany County Sheriff’s office announced during a Saturday press conference they had opened a criminal investigation into New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo over misdemeanor charges relating to sexual harassment of a coworker.
According to the New York attorney general report, the victim, “Executive Assistant #1,” filed the complaint Thursday at the Albany County Sheriff’s Office. If prosecuted, Cuomo would receive criminal charges.
“The end result could either be it sounds substantiated and an arrest is made, and it would be up to the [District Attorney] to prosecute the arrest,” Sheriff Craig Apple said, according to the New York Post.
“Just because of who it is, we are not going to rush it or delay it,” Apple added.
The unnamed victim said Cuomo approached her at the Executive Mansion in Albany on Nov. 16. He came in for a hug, then lifted her blouse and fondled one of her breasts.
“I mean it was — he was like cupping my breast. He cupped my breast,” the woman stated in the attorney general’s report.
“I have to tell you it was — at the moment I was in such shock that I could just tell you that I just remember looking down seeing his hand, seeing the top of my bra and I remember it was like a little even the cup — the kind of bra that I had to the point I could tell you doesn’t really fit me properly, it was a little loose, I just remember seeing exactly that,” the woman added.
According to the Associated Press, Cuomo’s lawyer, Rita Glavin, maintained the allegation from the woman was fabricated.
“He is 63 years old,” Glavin said. “He has spent 40 years in public life and for him to all of the sudden be accused of a sexual assault of an executive assistant that he really doesn’t know, doesn’t pass muster.”
Apple did not detail the specifics of the allegation but described it as “sexual in nature.” Additionally, he added his office has a proven track record of helping victims of sexual assault.
“I’m the county sheriff. I’m not going to be intimidated. I’m not going to be coerced,” Apple said. “That would not play out well for anybody.”
Separately, New York’s Assembly’s judiciary committee will plan to meet Monday to discuss impeachment proceedings. The majority of the legislative body has already said they are in favor of impeachment.