What Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s accusers felt, in their very own phrases
NEW YORK (AP) — Violated, demeaned, humiliated, a horror film: These are among the phrases 11 ladies used to explain how Gov. Andrew Cuomo made them really feel when he touched, kissed or hugged them or requested invasive questions.
Many of those ladies who spoke to investigators employed by the New York legal professional common’s workplace have been state workers. Others encountered Cuomo in skilled settings or at public occasions.
Unwelcome sexual conduct that makes staff really feel humiliated or uncomfortable is barred below New York’s sexual harassment legislation.
Cuomo has denied that he harassed or inappropriately touched anybody. He has mentioned he didn’t intend to make anybody really feel uncomfortable, saying as an alternative he touched and kissed folks to place them relaxed and his actions have been misunderstood due to generational or cultural variations.
STATE TROOPER NO. 1
After being promoted to the governor’s safety unit, a state police trooper instructed investigators Cuomo subjected to her to “flirtatious” and “creepy” conduct.
One time, in an elevator, he traced his finger from her neck to her again. One other time, he requested to kiss her within the driveway outdoors his Mt. Kisco house, she mentioned.
“I bear in mind simply freezing, being — at the back of my head, I am like, oh, how do I say no politely?” she instructed investigators.
At an occasion on Lengthy Island, Cuomo ran his hand throughout her abdomen and hip as she held a door open for him.
“I felt fully violated,” she mentioned. However she additionally felt like she could not say something.
“I’m a trooper, newly assigned to the journey workforce. Do I need to make waves? No,” she mentioned. “I’ve heard horror tales about folks getting kicked off the element or transferred over like little issues … I had no plans to report it.”
“The best way he was repeating ‘You have been raped and abused and attacked and assaulted and betrayed,’ time and again whereas trying me straight within the eyes was one thing out of a horror film.”
That’s what Charlotte Bennett texted a coworker in 2020 a couple of dialog she’d simply had the place Cuomo gave suggestions a couple of speech on sexual assault she was giving at her alma mater, she instructed investigators. She had confided in him that she had been assaulted.
Bennett mentioned it was certainly one of a variety of uncomfortable conversations she had with Cuomo when she labored for him as a low-level aide. He requested whether or not she was monogamous and what she considered age variations in relationships, mentioned he wanted a hug and instructed her he was on the lookout for a girlfriend — anybody over age 22. She was 25.
In a textual content trade on the time, a pal requested her if one thing had occurred and she or he replied, “No but it surely was like essentially the most express it may very well be,” and mentioned she was shaking, writing: “I am so upset and so confused.”
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT NO. 1
“I felt that (the Governor) was positively benefiting from me. He was taking benefit. The truth that he may inform that I used to be nervous. He may inform that I wasn’t saying something as a result of he had gotten away with it earlier than.”
This govt assistant described how Cuomo regularly hugged her, held her shut and rubbed her again and gave her kisses.
“Any time he touched me I felt prefer it was inappropriate. He was my boss, not to mention the Governor of the State of New York, so I positively felt he abused his energy and positively knew that he had this presence about him, very intimidating,” she instructed investigators.
This govt assistant additionally instructed investigators that Cuomo had reached below her shirt and grabbed her breast in November final yr. She remains to be an worker of the governor’s workplace.
STATE ENTITY EMPLOYEE NO. 1
At an occasion in September 2019, this worker and her boss went to satisfy Cuomo and took a photograph with him. She instructed investigators Cuomo touched her butt whereas the picture was being taken.
“I felt deflated and I felt disrespected and I felt very like smaller and virtually youthful than I really am as a result of type of the humorous a part of all of it is I used to be making this venture occur. So we have been there as a result of, you recognize, the work that I had been doing and have continued to do… so it was simply very, yeah, a second of like, disempowerment.”
In an e mail written after the occasion that she despatched to herself to doc Cuomo’s motion, she wrote, “I then felt loads of feelings round Cuomo’s inappropriate touching of my physique, largely shock and anger.”
An power firm worker, Virginia Limmiatis prolonged her hand to the governor whereas at an occasion in 2017. As a substitute of taking her hand, Cuomo slid his fingers throughout her chest, over letters printed on her shirt, and leaned in so their cheeks touched.
She instructed investigators she felt, “completely humiliated. It’s very tough even speaking about it. I used to be completely profoundly humiliated and appalled. I used to be in shock. Very detrimental emotions is one of the simplest ways to explain it.”
Whereas she instructed folks at her firm about what occurred, she didn’t report it out of “trepidation and worry.”
“How do you clarify to somebody what the Governor did in public, such an egregious act, heinous act. I used to be very fearful … how does somebody consider that this occurred to me?”
In a web based submit from February, Lindsey Boylan, a former aide who served in numerous roles, mentioned Cuomo as soon as kissed her on the lips after a gathering.
“I used to be in shock, however I saved strolling,” she wrote.
Boylan instructed investigators it was “deeply humiliating on some stage.”
“I believe lots of people are, like, after all this occurred to younger ladies who haven’t any energy. Effectively, I used to be actually senior and I had labored my complete life to get to some extent the place I might be taken significantly and I wasn’t being taken significantly and I labored so arduous to be some little doll for the Governor of New York and that was deeply humiliating.”
A younger aide working for the governor, McGrath mentioned Cuomo made sexually suggestive feedback, held her uncomfortably shut in pictures and as soon as regarded down her shirt whereas she was taking notes.
However she did not really feel like she may complain about his conduct, partly as a result of some coworkers had already commented on how the governor preferred fairly faces round.
“I needed to consider that I’m up there and serving to out due to my good work. And I felt like if I mentioned that to them, not solely would I be embarrassed. I might, like, virtually discredit myself,” she instructed investigators.
A lady solely recognized by her first title instructed investigators that after she was employed as an aide in Cuomo’s workplace, he instructed her to take in data and referred to her as “sponge.” She mentioned she discovered the nickname “embarrassing… , condescending (and) demeaning.”
She later transferred to work for one more state company and cried in an interview when explaining that she didn’t need to have contact with the governor in her new function.
Ana Liss labored in Cuomo’s workplace as an aide on a prestigious fellowship for 2 years. Liss instructed investigators she felt “form of icky as a result of it sucked that (she) was nominally there on this Fellowship that was presupposed to be recognizing (her) mind and (her) credentials and (she) was presupposed to be influencing coverage in line with this Fellowship program, however then like in apply, (she) was eye sweet.”
She instructed WROC-TV in March that when she left the place, she felt she had failed professionally.
“My household and family members noticed that I used to be not doing so nicely. I left to go work for Cornell alone accord. I utilized for the job, I didn’t search out any assist from the administration to assist me safe a place elsewhere to flee. And on the time I considered it as a lateral transfer and that I had failed, I couldn’t survive.”
STATE ENTITY EMPLOYEE NO. 2
“You make that robe look good,” Cuomo instructed this worker as she swabbed his nostril for a coronavirus take a look at on tv in March 2020.
She was shocked.
“I felt that in my scenario it was very, very temporary,” she later instructed investigators. “I didn’t have typical interactions with the Governor and I felt I had loads of skilled alternatives in any other case. I felt that in my skilled standing I ought to share these info, no matter they’re, as a way to help if there are every other ladies.”
A vomit emoji was how Anna Ruch ended a textual content message wherein she shared pictures of Cuomo holding her face at a marriage in September 2019. She had by no means met him beforehand and mentioned he touched her again and requested to kiss her.
“I’m so pissed / I misplaced the photographers (sic) card however don’t need the picture of us on the marriage pictures. Yuck,” she wrote.