Gov. Andrew Cuomo is under criminal investigation by the Albany County District Attorney’s office following New York Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation concluding that Cuomo harassed current and former staff members.
Albany County District Attorney David Soares, whose office is able to press charges against the governor, said in a statement on Tuesday: "Along with the public, today we have been made aware of the final independent report from AG Letitia James’ office regarding Governor Cuomo’s conduct as they relate to violations of civil harassment statutes. We will be formally requesting investigative materials obtained by the AG’s Office, and we welcome any victim to contact our office with additional information."
James said at a press conference on Tuesday that the investigation, in which 179 people were interviewed and more than 74,000 pieces of evidence were examined, “found that Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed current and former New York state employees by engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching and making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women.”
Cuomo has denied the allegations of inappropriate touching and sexual harassment, saying in a video shortly after the press conference that “the facts are much different than what has been portrayed.”
"First, I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances," Cuomo said. "I am 63 years old. I’ve lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am and that’s not who I have ever been."
Attorney Kevin Mintzer, who has previously represented multiple women in cases involving sexual misconduct, told The New York Times on Tuesday that it may be hard for prosecutors to prove a criminal case against the governor.
“Our criminal laws don’t cover much of what sexual harassment is, at least in the workplace,” he said.
“It’s a fact that this workplace touching and groping is not usually criminally prosecuted,” Mr. Mintzer added. “Whether or not that’s the way it should be is a separate issue.”
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