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The latest allegations against the governor may have risen 'to the level of a crime'
The Albany Police Department has been notified of the latest sexual harassment allegations against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and is offering their services to the alleged victim, should she wish to file a criminal complaint.
Albany police officials who spoke to the New York Times said the latest reported incident between the governor and a former female aide who is much younger than he may have risen "to the level of a crime."
A spokesman for the department said they have not received a formal complaint from the woman nor opened a criminal investigation, but they have offered their help to her, "as we would do with any other report or incident."
State police contacted Albany police after the Albany Times Union reported the latest accusations against the governor, made by an unidentified aide who said that at the governor's mansion late last year Cuomo reached under her blouse and "aggressively groped her." The former aide is the sixth woman to accuse Cuomo of sexual harassment.
Cuomo's lawyer Beth Garvey told the Times that she had contacted the police department and reported the allegations against the governor, following state policy. She also said a lawyer for the female aide told the governor's office that the aide does not wish to file a police report.
"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 in a statement. "If they decline, the agency has an obligation to reach out themselves and inform the department of the allegation."
She added: "In this case, the person is represented by counsel and when counsel confirmed the client did not want to make a report, the state notified the police department and gave them the attorney's information."
The Albany Times Union reported Wednesday that the female aide "had been called to the mansion under the apparent pretext of having her assist the governor with a minor technical issue involving his mobile phone."
After the aide was alone with Cuomo on the second floor of the governor's mansion, she claims he closed the door and allegedly reached under her blouse and began to fondle her without her consent.
Gov. Cuomo has forcefully denied these allegations.
"I have never done anything like this," Cuomo said in a statement Wednesday, calling the Times Union report "gut-wrenching."
He refused to speak to the specifics of the allegations, referring to the ongoing review by state Attorney General Letitia James and expressing confidence in her forthcoming report on all of the allegations.
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