New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, many of them young, and in doing so violated federal and state law, the state’s attorney general, Letitia James, announced Tuesday, concluding a four-month investigation into the allegations of sexual harassment against the powerful third-term Democrat.
The detailed report found that Cuomo engaged in a pattern of sexually-based harassment targeting current and former state employees, as well as non-state employees. The behavior included unwelcome and nonconsensual touching of “intimate body parts,” as well as repeated sexualized and gendered comments. According to the report, the governor retaliated against at least one woman who made her claims public, Lindsey Boylan, and his office created an unpublished memo that sought to attack Boylan with conspiracy theories asserting that she was being funded by far-right supporters of Donald Trump.
The report did not find that Cuomo’s actions should be subjected to criminal prosecution.
The investigation, which specifically pushed back against Cuomo’s defense that his conduct was nothing more than “customary” friendly gestures, concluded that Cuomo created a hostile work environment “rife with bullying, fear, and intimidation.”
Cuomo, in a video message, pushed back on the findings and denied the allegations of inappropriate touching. He also offered a slideshow of photos showing him embracing various individuals to try to demonstrate that his behavior was not sexual. As Cuomo responded, three New York Democrats—Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Thomas Suozzi, and Gregory Meeks—added their names to the long list of lawmakers calling on the governor to resign.
“I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances,” Cuomo said in his response. “I am 63 years old. I have lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am.”
All eyes are now on the state’s legislature, which has the power to impeach Cuomo.