Aide Says Cuomo Groped Her, as New Details of Account Emerge

An aide to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo who had accused the governor of improper behavior said that Mr. Cuomo had groped her in the Executive Mansion, according to new details of her account reported by The Times Union of Albany.

The aide, who was not identified by the newspaper, said she was summoned to the governor’s private residence last year to assist Mr. Cuomo with a technical issue when, alone on the second floor, the governor closed the door, reached under her blouse and began touching her, the newspaper said.

The new details of the account, which were reported on Wednesday, involve the most sexually aggressive allegation yet. The woman was the sixth person to accuse the governor of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior.

The newspaper reported on Tuesday that the allegation had been forwarded to the state attorney general, which is overseeing an inquiry into sexual harassment claims against the governor.

Mr. Cuomo on Wednesday denied the woman’s account, reiterating his assertion that he had never touched anyone inappropriately.

“As I said yesterday, I have never done anything like this,” Mr. Cuomo said in a statement. “The details of this report are gut-wrenching. I am not going to speak to the specifics of this or any other allegation given the ongoing review, but I am confident in the result of the attorney general’s report.”

The newspaper had initially reported that a supervisor in the governor’s office had become aware of the possible inappropriate conduct.

On Wednesday, the newspaper offered additional details, saying that the supervisor, a woman, noticed that the aide had become emotional as she watched Mr. Cuomo give a televised apology on March 3 in response to multiple allegations, but still denied touching anyone inappropriately.

The aide then told the supervisor about what she described as inappropriate encounters with Mr. Cuomo, the report said. The aide, who is younger than Mr. Cuomo, has also accused the governor of flirting with her and touching her on previous occasions, according to the report.

The aide never filed a formal complaint about the encounter; the governor’s counsel learned about the allegation earlier this week from other employees in the office, according to The Times Union.

The newspaper has based its reporting on an anonymous source with knowledge of the allegation.

The new allegation is certain to aggravate the most tumultuous crisis of Mr. Cuomo’s political career. The governor is facing intense scrutiny of his conduct toward women and is under escalating pressure to resign after two former aides, Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett, accused him last month of sexually harassing them.

Ms. Boylan, who is running for Manhattan borough president, published an essay on Feb. 24 outlining a series of unsettling experiences with Mr. Cuomo, including an instance when she said he kissed her on the lips without her consent after a private meeting in his New York City office in 2018. Mr. Cuomo’s office has denied the allegations.

Shortly after, Ms. Bennett told The New York Times that Mr. Cuomo, 63, made sexual overtures during a one-on-one meeting in his State Capitol office in June amid the pandemic. Ms. Bennett, now 25, said the governor asked her whether she had sex with older men and whether she had intimacy issues because of her experience as a sexual assault survivor.

Disturbed by the remarks, Ms. Bennett told the governor’s chief of staff about the encounter and provided a lengthy statement to a special counsel to the governor. She was transferred to another job farther away from the governor’s office before quitting in November.

The allegations — and those of other women who have since described other inappropriate conduct from the governor — have rocked Albany, leading a growing number of Democrats to join Republicans in calling for the governor to be impeached or to step down. On Sunday, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the majority leader in the State Senate, became the most powerful Democrat in the state to call on Mr. Cuomo to resign, leading many others in her conference to follow suit.

The governor, a third-term Democrat, has apologized for workplace remarks that he says may have hurt or offended women, insisting he never meant to make anyone feel uncomfortable and never touched anyone inappropriately.

“It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it,” Mr. Cuomo said during his March 3 apology. “I feel awful about it and frankly, I’m embarrassed by it, and that’s not easy to say.”

His repeated apologies have not been enough to quell the political backlash, which has intensified as new allegations emerge and a competing scandal deepens. Last week, The Times reported that top Cuomo officials rewrote a Health Department report in an attempt to cover up the full extent of nursing home deaths during the coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday, Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried, a Democrat and the longest-serving member of the lower chamber, also called on the governor to resign.

“Multiple and growing credible allegations of sexual harassment and recent reports detailing the cover-up of the true Covid-19 death toll in nursing homes are extremely disturbing and make it clear that Governor Cuomo is no longer the right governor for New York,” said Mr. Gottfried, who was first elected in 1971 and has served under eight governors.

Most Democrats, however, have been hesitant to call on Mr. Cuomo to step down, saying that they support the state attorney general investigation into the allegations. Among them is Nita Lowey, the former longtime congresswoman from the Hudson Valley who said in a statement earlier on Wednesday that she was “saddened that recent accusations of misconduct toward women have led to calls for the governor to resign or be impeached.”

“I believe that these charges deserve to be heard,” said Ms. Lowey, who retired in January. “Attorney General Letitia James has appointed two outstanding attorneys to conduct an independent investigation. At least until they have reported their conclusions, the governor should remain in office.”

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