Touching a woman against her will… The former New York governor accused of a “sex crime”

A US court on Thursday charged former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo with a “sex crime” for unwillingly groping a woman, a court spokesperson said.

It is the first charge brought against Cuomo, the influential politician who was forced to resign this year after a series of sexual harassment allegations against him.

“A misdemeanor complaint against former Governor Andrew Cuomo has been filed in Albany City Court,” New York state court spokesman Lucien Chalvin said, describing it as a “sex crime.”

The complaint, filed with the Albany County Sheriff’s Office on behalf of the state of New York, accuses Cuomo of placing his hand on the victim’s shirt and touching her left chest in December 2020.

An Albany city court issued a subpoena for Cuomo, 63, to appear on November 17, 2021, according to a statement.

Cuomo resigned as New York state governor in August after Attorney General Leticia James issued a report concluding that he sexually harassed 11 women, including former employees.

“From the moment my office received a referral to investigate allegations that former Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed several women, we have acted without fear or favour,” James said in a statement.

“The criminal charges brought today against Mr. Cuomo of coercive groping confirm the correctness of our findings in our report,” she added.

Cuomo, for his part, strongly denied the charges, claiming that he was a “victim of political vendetta”.

Cuomo had gained great popularity in the United States last year due to the daily press conferences he was holding on the Corona virus before its resounding fall.

Forced contact is considered a first-degree misdemeanour, and the penalty can be up to one year in prison.AFP

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