New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is being criminally investigated for allegedly groping a state employee at his executive mansion in Albany, the county sheriff has confirmed.

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said in a press conference Saturday the criminal investigation could lead to the governor's arrest and that, based on the information available so far, he could be slapped with a misdemeanor charge. 

'Yes it could lead to an arrest and would our agency be affecting that arrest? Yes absolutely,' he said.   

He added that, while he couldn't yet say if it could lead to a misdemeanor or felony charge, 'from what I have read so far it is floating around a misdemeanor but that's just from the attorney general's report.'  

The criminal report from the woman, known only as 'Executive Assistant #1' in New York Attorney General Letitia James' damning report that found the governor sexually harassed at least 11 women, is the first known instance where a woman has made an official report with a law enforcement agency over the alleged misconduct by Cuomo.

The District Attorneys of Manhattan, Albany and Westchester all opened criminal investigations into Cuomo's conduct earlier this week and urged women to come forward, following the release of James' investigative report Tuesday.  

Cuomo continues to deny all of the allegations leveled against him and is refusing to stand down despite mounting calls for his resignation from former Democrat allies and the impending outcome of an impeachment probe. 

The governor broke cover Saturday morning to take his dog for a walk outside the executive mansion, where he has been holing up since the report's release.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is spotted walking his dog in the morning of August 7 outside his home in Albany

Governor Andrew Cuomo is spotted walking his dog in the morning of August 7 outside his home in Albany 

The embattled governor looked somber as he spoke on his cellphone during the walk
The embattled governor looked somber as he spoke on his cellphone during the walk

The embattled governor looked somber as he spoke on his cellphone during the walk 

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said in a press conference Saturday the criminal investigation could lead to the governor's arrest and that, based on the information available so far, he could be slapped with a misdemeanor charge

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said in a press conference Saturday the criminal investigation could lead to the governor's arrest and that, based on the information available so far, he could be slapped with a misdemeanor charge

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo with the woman described as 'executive assistant one' in a photo included in New York Attorney General Letitia James' damning report. The woman has now filed a criminal complaint against him

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo with the woman described as 'executive assistant one' in a photo included in New York Attorney General Letitia James' damning report. The woman has now filed a criminal complaint against him


Apple told reporters Saturday that his office was contacted by the woman's attorney Wednesday night saying she wanted to file an allegation of criminal conduct against the governor.

The accuser and her attorney then came in for an hour-long meeting Thursday where she filed a formal criminal report and the sheriff's office launched an investigation. 

'We've reached out to the attorney general's office requesting investigative material to go forward with our investigation and that's where we're at today,' said Apple.   

The next steps will involve investigators compiling the facts and carrying out interviews with the victim, he said, before deciding whether to move forward with any charges.     

Apple said he would be 'guessing' when asked how long the investigation is likely to take, saying that his team has a 'lot of fact finding' and a 'lot of interviews' to do. 


'I'm not going to rush it because of who he is and I'm not going to delay it because of who he is,' he said. 

He added: 'We treat victims the same. We investigate the same. This one obviously just has more eyes on it.'

When asked if it was too early in the investigation for him to have reached the conclusion that the accuser is a 'victim', Apple fired back that he was 'comfortable' to say this is what she is. 

'You're being very presumptive as well,' he responded to the reporter. 

'We've all read the attorney general's report and we all know what's in it. 

'I'm very comfortable and safe saying she is in fact a victim and I commend all the women for coming forward.'

Apple said it is a 'very tough time' for the alleged victims and that the 'last thing we want to do is have the victims tell their story over and over again.' 

The governor and his dog outside the executive mansion in Albany Saturday morning

The governor and his dog outside the executive mansion in Albany Saturday morning 

Cuomo has been holed up in the mansion all week since the damning report from the AG's office found he sexually harassed multiple women

Cuomo has been holed up in the mansion all week since the damning report from the AG's office found he sexually harassed multiple women 

Cuomo was deep in conversation on his cellphone as he continued to cling to power Saturday
Cuomo was deep in conversation on his cellphone as he continued to cling to power Saturday

Cuomo was deep in conversation on his cellphone as he continued to cling to power Saturday 

Cuomo takes his pet dog for a walk. The executive mansion where he has been in hiding is the location of the alleged groping incident

Cuomo takes his pet dog for a walk. The executive mansion where he has been in hiding is the location of the alleged groping incident

The governor continues to deny the allegations with his legal team holding a press conference Friday trying to discredit the alleged victims

The governor continues to deny the allegations with his legal team holding a press conference Friday trying to discredit the alleged victims 

'It's a very tough time and it's a lot of stress and pressure on the victims,' he said.  

The sheriff would not reveal if there are any additional allegations in the complaint to those already known but said the details in the complaint took place in Albany - where the governor's executive mansion is based. 

'I cannot get into the nature of her specific allegations. We are in the very infant stage of the investigation,' he said.  

Apple said he 'commended' the woman for coming forward as he said the investigation was 'involving criminal conduct' and referred to the woman as 'a victim' multiple times. 

'I commend her bravery in coming forward and now it's time for us to begin our investigation,' he said.

'Our investigation is involving criminal conduct. I believe the attorney general's investigation was steered toward a civil investigation.'   

When asked if he feared his department will be retaliated against by the governor for launching an investigation, the sheriff brushed off the idea.

'Look, I'm the county sheriff. I'm not going to be intimidated. I'm not going to be coerced,' he said. 

Apple said he 'commended' the woman for coming forward as he said the investigation was 'involving criminal conduct' and referred to the woman as 'a victim' multiple times

Apple said he 'commended' the woman for coming forward as he said the investigation was 'involving criminal conduct' and referred to the woman as 'a victim' multiple times

The identity of the alleged victim has not been released although Apple said it was likely her name will be revealed over time during the criminal justice process.   

Fabien Levy, press secretary and senior advisor at James' office, released a statement following the briefing.

'We will cooperate fully with the Albany sheriff and turn over all evidence related to this complainant,' said Levy.

'Similarly, we will cooperate with all law enforcement agencies, as appropriate.' 

Apple had confirmed Friday that 'Executive Assistant #1' had filed a criminal complaint against the governor. 

'The end result could either be it sounds substantiated and an arrest is made and it would be up to the DA to prosecute the arrest,' he told the New York Post.  

The sheriff's office has been in touch with the Albany County District Attorney's office following the criminal complaint being lodged, he said. 

The Cuomo aide who filed the police report has leveled one of the most damning accusations against the governor among all allegations brought by multiple women in recent months - an allegation that was upheld in James' report.  

The executive assistant accused Cuomo of reaching under her shirt and fondling her breast when they were alone together at the Executive Mansion on November 16 2020. 

She told investigators on James' team she was 'in such shock' as he 'cupped my breast' during the encounter.

For over three months, the woman then kept the alleged groping incident to herself and planned to take it 'to the grave,' says James' report.

But she then 'found herself becoming emotional (in a way that was visible to her colleagues in the Executive Chamber) while watching the Governor state, at a press conference on March 3, 2021, that he had never 'touched anyone inappropriately.' 

Cuomo released a video responding to the report's findings Tuesday denying sexually harassing anyone

Cuomo released a video responding to the report's findings Tuesday denying sexually harassing anyone 

The woman claims Cuomo reached under her shirt and fondling her breast when they were alone together at the Executive Mansion (pictured) on November 16 2020

The woman claims Cuomo reached under her shirt and fondling her breast when they were alone together at the Executive Mansion (pictured) on November 16 2020

The aide then confided in colleagues, who then reported her allegations to senior staff in the Executive Chamber, the report says. 

The aide also told investigators with the attorney general's office that Cuomo once rubbed her rear end while they were posing together for a photo. 

The alleged incident took place on December 31 2019 when Cuomo asked her to take a selfie of them as they worked together inside his office at the Executive Mansion.

As she held up the camera, Cuomo 'moved his hand to grab her butt cheek and began to rub it' for at least five seconds, the report alleges.

The assistant 'was shaking so much during this interaction' that the photos came out blurry — and Cuomo suggested the two sit down to take one more, the document says.

That photo, showing Cuomo smirking while he sits back on a couch with the aide, is included in the report.

The governor then allegedly told her to send the snap to another aide, Alyssa McGrath - who has also accused Cuomo of sexual harassment - and said 'not to share the photograph with anyone else.'

The woman told investigators she didn't report what had happened because she was 'terrified'.


Protesters gathered outside Cuomo's office Wednesday demanding he resign following the release of the damning investigative report

Protesters gathered outside Cuomo's office Wednesday demanding he resign following the release of the damning investigative report

Cuomo is resisting calls to resign including from former Democrat allies, while the outcome of an impeachment probe is impending

Cuomo is resisting calls to resign including from former Democrat allies, while the outcome of an impeachment probe is impending


'[T]he way he was so firm with [me] that I couldn't show anyone else that photo, I was just terrified that if I shared what was going on that it would somehow get around,' she told investigators.    

James' report also says Cuomo repeatedly sexually harassed 'Executive Assistant #1' from late 2019, including subjecting her to 'close and intimate hugs', 'kisses on the cheeks and forehead', 'at least one kiss on the lips' and 'touching her butt'. 

He allegedly referred to her and one other assistant as 'mingle mamas' and asked her repeatedly if she would ever cheat on her husband.    

The sheriff's office told DailyMail.com it is not currently releasing the criminal complaint due to the ongoing investigation. 

The Albany Police Department, the primary law enforcement agency for the city, had been informed of the woman's allegations regarding the encounter at the mansion several months ago and had spoken to her lawyer, but didn't open an investigation at the time because she didn't make a report.   

Prosecutors in several New York counties have said they are interested in investigating claims of inappropriate touching by Cuomo, but all had said they needed the women involved in the allegations to make a formal report.  

A request for comment was sent to Cuomo's lawyer, Rita Glavin.

Cuomo has denied touching anyone inappropriately. 

His lawyers have acknowledged that Cuomo and the woman met together on the day of the alleged encounter in November, but said he never groped her. 

Cuomo has also admitted that he and the staffer took the selfie together, but claimed it was her idea because 'he does not like to take selfies.'  

The governor's legal team tried to discredit the aide's allegations in a press conference Friday afternoon - from which Cuomo was absent.    

Cuomo's lawyer Rita Glavin said the groping allegation was fabricated.

'He is 63 years old. He has spent 40 years in public life and for him to all of the sudden be accused of a sexual assault of an executive assistant that he really doesn't know, doesn't pass muster,' Glavin said. 


New York State Attorney General Letitia James speaks at a news conference Tuesday announcing her investigation found he sexually harassed multiple women

New York State Attorney General Letitia James speaks at a news conference Tuesday announcing her investigation found he sexually harassed multiple women

Governor Cuomo defends his hands on style as part of who he is
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Calls for Cuomo's resignation or impeachment soared this week after James' investigation concluded that he sexually harassed 11 women, including nine state employees. 

Some of those allegations were not previously known, including accusations that he harassed a state trooper on a number of occasions, including one incident where he ran his hand across her stomach from her belly button to her right hip while she was holding the door open for him at an event.

Investigators corroborated numerous allegations from multiple women ranging from inappropriate comments to forced kisses and groping, the report found.   

Cuomo also retaliated against one of his accusers, the 165-page report found. 

When Lindsey Boylan, a former state economic development official, became the first woman to come forward with allegations against Cuomo in December, the governor's office leaked her personnel record in an apparent attempt to discredit her. 

James said the governor violated state and federal law through his actions.  

Senior Democrats including Joe Biden Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Chuck Schumer have all urged Cuomo to resign.  

State lawmakers are now moving toward a likely impeachment proceeding over the allegations.

Lawyers working for the state Assembly sent a letter to Cuomo Thursday giving him until August 13 to respond to the allegations against him or provide documents to bolster his defense.

The state Assembly's judiciary committee plans to meet Monday to discuss the possibility of impeachment proceedings. 

A majority of members of the legislative body have already said they favor an impeachment trial if he won't resign. 

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul would replace Cuomo if he is impeached or resigns first.  

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