New York, Aug 3 (EFE).- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, the state attorney general said Tuesday as she presented her office’s report into allegations brought against the three-term Democrat by 11 different individuals.
But in a speech following the attorney general’s press conference, the 63-year-old governor repeated his blanket denial of wrongdoing: “I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances.”
The five-month-long investigation determined that Cuomo engaged in “unwelcome and nonconsensual touching” and made comments of a “suggestive” sexual nature, resulting in a “hostile work environment for women,” Letitia James said.
Accounts from 179 people and information gleaned from 74,000 pieces of evidence combined to create a “deeply disturbing yet clear picture” of Cuomo’s actions during the period 2013-2020, the attorney general said.
The independent investigators who drafted the report, Joon Kim and Anne Clark, described Cuomo’s conduct as “unlawful” while noting that the document does not address the question of whether the governor should face criminal prosecution.
Later Tuesday, the district attorney’s office in Albany, the state capital, said that a criminal probe of Cuomo was under way.
In his interviews with the investigators, Cuomo sought to counter the accusations with some measure of detail, yet Clark and Kim wrote, “we found his denials to lack credibility and to be inconsistent with the weight of evidence obtained during our investigation.”
Conversely, Clark said that investigators found all 11 of the women who accused Cuomo to be credible.
Many of the top Democrats in New York, including both of the state’s US senators, urged Cuomo to step down when the allegations first became public in March and they renewed those calls on Tuesday.
President Joe Biden said in March that Cuomo should resign if the accusations were borne out by the investigation and when asked Tuesday whether that was still his view, he replied in the affirmative.
Cuomo, however, has not only rejected the idea of resigning but continues to insist he will seek a fourth term as governor in 2022.