(CNSNews.com) - The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James published a report today based on its investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo that concluded, among other things, that Cuomo “grabbed the butt” of a state employee.
“In September 2019, the Governor attended an event in New York City sponsored by a New York State-affiliated entity,” said the report. “Following a speech by the Governor, he posed for pictures with other attendees, including with an employee of that State-affiliated entity (‘State-Entity Employee #1’), who was a woman.
“While the picture was being taken,” the report said, “the Governor put his hand on State Entity Employee #1’s butt, tapped it twice, and then grabbed her butt.
“State Entity Employee #1 was ‘shocked’ at the time,” said the report, “and discussed it with a number of friends, and family, and co-workers. Following the advice of a friend, she also contemporaneously memorialized the Governor’s inappropriate touching.”
Cuomo denied this employee’s claim.
“In his testimony, the Governor denied inappropriately touching…State Entity Employee #1…in the way described, and he generally denied touching anyone inappropriately,” said the report.
The attorney general’s report goes on to describe the incident in more detailed based on the employee’s testimony.
“State Entity Employee #1 alleged that, on a Saturday in September 2019, the Governor touched her butt in an unwelcome manner during a work event,” said the report.
“That day, State Entity Employee #1 attended an event for her work that was also attend by the Governor,” it said. “As a part of the event, the Governor gave a brief speech and was accompanied by a small crowd of relevant individuals from the agencies participating in the event.
“Following the speech, the Governor grabbed State Entity Employee #1’s arm and asked her for a photograph,” said the report. “State Entity Employee #1 posed for a photograph with the Governor, along with her supervisor. State Entity Employee #1 testified that the Governor stood between State Entity Employee #1 and her supervisor, with the Governor’s arms around State Entity Employee #1.
“During the time in which their photographs were being taken, the Governor ‘took his hand and double tapped the area where [State Entity Employee #1’s] butt and [her] thigh meet,’ and then moved his finger upward to ‘kind of grab the area between [her] butt and [her] thigh,” said the report. “According to State Entity Employee #1, the Governor did not say anything when he grabbed her, and they stepped away from each other soon after.
“State Entity Employee #1 testified that she understood the Governor’s actions to be intentional,” said the report. “Though she wished it were not the case, ‘[she] knew from the moment that that occurred that that wasn’t normal, that’s not something that has ever happened to [her] in a professional setting.
“State Entity Employee #1 testified that she immediately shared what had happened with her supervisor, who had also been in the photographs with the Governor,” said the report. “State Entity Employee #1’s supervisor did not respond, so she repeated herself. Her supervisor still did not respond, but another attendee who was close by seemingly heard what State Entity Employee #1 had said, because he laughed uncomfortably. State Entity Employee #1 did not say anything more about the incident during the event and has not interacted with the Governor since.”
She told her family in writing about what happened.
“After the September 2019 event, State Entity Employee #1 sent messages to her siblings and mother about what had happened,” said the report. “She provided us with screen shots of the messages. She also told some friends later that evening what had happened. The following day, at her friends’ suggestion, she wrote down what the Governor had done and emailed it to herself. State Employee #1 provided a copy of that document, which was consistent with her testimony.”
The attorney general’s investigation found this employee’s allegation about Cuomo to be credible.
“We find State Entity Employee #1’s allegation that the Governor grabbed her butt without her consent to be credible,” said the report.
“Additionally,” it said, “we interviewed multiple co-workers and a friend, all of whom corroborated that State Entity Employee #1 had told them the key details of the incident in a manner consistent with her testimony.”
Although Cuomo told the attorney general’s investigation that he did not remember this event, he denied “that he touched anyone of the butt” there.
“The Governor testified that he could not recall the event and denied that he touched anyone on the butt at the event,” said the report.