The latest allegation of sexual assault made against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has now been referred to Albany police, making it the first of at least half a dozen accusations made against the embattled Democrat to have made it to local law enforcement for possible criminal investigation.
According to the Democrat & Chronicle, the state referred this most recent complaint to Albany police for potential investigation after a former staffer came forward and accused Cuomo of forcibly groping her. The woman, whose name hasn’t been released, has claimed the governor reached under her shirt and assaulted her after inviting her to his private residence.
Cuomo’s acting counsel, Beth Garvey, said she personally relayed the allegations to Albany police per state policy.
“As a matter of state policy, when allegations of physical contact are made, the agency informs the complainant that they should contact their local police department,” Garvey said, according to the New York Times. “If they decline, the agency has an obligation to reach out themselves and inform the department of the allegation.”
A lawyer for the anonymous accuser, however, said the woman doesn’t want to file an official report herself.
This makes at least six women who’ve come forward with allegations against the Democrat governor ranging from sexual harassment and inappropriate workplace behavior all the way to sexual assault. The first former staffer to go public with her story, Lindsey Boylan, says Cuomo repeatedly made unwanted overtures toward her while she worked in his office, and once even forcibly kissed her on the mouth without her consent.
Albany police said that while both New York State Police and Cuomo’s office did refer this latest complaint of sexual assault to the department, the woman herself has not made an official complaint. But if true, the allegation may rise “to the level of a crime,” Albany police confirmed in a statement, per the New York Times. However, the department didn’t say that they’ve opened an official investigation into the allegations.
Cuomo has since apologized for making inappropriate jokes in the workplace that may have caused anyone to be uncomfortable, but has repeatedly denied having sexually assaulted anyone.