New York governor accused of sexual harassment by second woman

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NEW YORK | A second former employee of powerful New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo accused him of sexual harassment, charges the governor denied on Saturday.

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This time, it was 25-year-old ex-health adviser Charlotte Bennett who told the New York Times that the governor sexually harassed her in the spring of 2020.

Mme Bennett said the 63-year-old governor had notably made remarks to him in early June about being open to dating women in their twenties, and asking her how she saw her. , such a difference in age.

If Mr. Cuomo never tried to touch her, Bennett, however, told the Times: “I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me and I felt horribly uncomfortable and scared”.

She added that she spoke to Mr. Cuomo’s chief of staff and legal counsel, who transferred her to another post in another building. The position suited her, so she decided not to go any further.

In a statement on Saturday evening, Mr. Cuomo assured “never to have made advances to Bennett, nor ever having intended to act inappropriately ”.

He said he wanted, on the contrary, to support Bennett, who told him he had been sexually assaulted.

The governor, including the 3e mandate expires at the end of 2022, called for “a full examination” of these charges, led by a former federal judge. “I ask New Yorkers to wait for the results […] before any judgment, ”he added.

This is the second time in a week that the Democratic governor, who has led New York State for 10 years, has been accused of sexual harassment: Wednesday, another ex-counselor, Lindsey Boylan, said in a blog, that he had harassed her when she was working for his administration, from 2015 to 2018.

Now Manhattan presidential candidate Lindsey Boylan, 36, said the governor had unsolicited her kiss on the mouth, suggested she play strip poker with him and “multiplied efforts to [lui] touch the back, arms, legs ”.

“For those wondering what it’s like to work for the Cuomo administration, read Lindsey Boylan’s story,” Charlotte Bennett had tweeted, without further comment.

A spokeswoman for the governor had qualified as “false” the accusations of Boylan.

New York politicians, such as the anti-sexual assault organization Time’s Up, have called for an investigation into these allegations.