A former aide to embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) came forward in an interview on Monday to detail instances of sexual misconduct she claims to have suffered at the hands of the controversial politician, a move which could ultimately result in criminal prosecution and/or impeachment of the Empire State’s chief executive, according to the Associated Press.
During an interview with CBS and the Albany Times Union, Brittany Commisso explained that while she wanted to go public with her allegations against Cuomo previously, she long feared that the governor’s allies and protectors would set about destroying her life if she did.
“I was afraid that if I had to come forward and revealed my name, that the governor and his enablers, I like to call them, would viciously attack me, would smear my name, as I had seen and heard them do before to people,” Commisso declared.
According to Commisso, Cuomo groped her on multiple occasions in the Executive Mansion in the state capital, actions which she described as “a crime.” The former executive assistant said that the governor began summoning her often to his residence, greeting her with hugs that were given “with the intention of getting some personal sexual satisfaction out of it,” as the New York Post noted.
The whistleblower also alleged that Cuomo once reached beneath her blouse to grope her breast, and, according to a damning report issued by New York Attorney General Letitia James last week detailing investigatory findings on the topic, he also had a habit of “touching and grabbing” Commisso’s rear end.
Commisso articulated just how uncomfortable the behavior made her, adding, “He thought this was normal to me, and the other women that he did this to. It was not normal, it was not welcome, and it was certainly not consensual.”
According to Fox News, on Thursday, Commisso became the first of the group of women who have accused Cuomo of misconduct to file a formal criminal complaint, and the Albany County Sheriff indicated that an investigation was under way in his office.
In explaining her decision to go public with her story despite lingering fears of personal and professional retribution, Commisso cited her desire to set an example for her own young daughter. “I never want her to be afraid to speak. I never want her to be afraid of any person in power, a man or a woman,” she said, according to the Post.
For his part, Cuomo has rebuffed the growing chorus of demands for his immediate resignation, but considering that the New York State Assembly Judiciary Committee is on the verge of concluding its impeachment investigation in the very near future, the governor’s political fate may already be out of his hands.