Updated: August 08, 2021 01:21 AM
Created: August 07, 2021 01:07 PM
Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple says a “very comprehensive” investigation is underway into the criminal complaint against Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He made his comments during a news briefing Saturday.
The Sheriff’s Office confirmed Friday that they received the complaint from the woman who has accused Cuomo of groping her breast at the governor’s state residence.
The complaint, which was filed Thursday, is the first known instance of one of Cuomo's accusers bringing a case to law enforcement. If sheriff’s investigators confirm the allegations, they could arrest the governor.
"I cannot get into the nature of her specific allegations at this time. Obviously, we're in the very infant stages of this investigation," Apple told reporters.
The only detail Apple released about the complaint during the briefing is that the alleged conduct was sexual in nature and occurred in the city of Albany. No documents or reports are being released at this time.
He says the sheriff's office is in touch with the state Attorney General’s Office and has requested information to aid in the investigation.
Apple went on to say that his office has not yet spoken to the governor, and he could not say how long the investigation could take.
"This is obviously a very high-profile investigation. There’s a lot of information out there," Apple said. "We have a lot of fact-finding to do. We have a lot of interviews to do and, you know what, I’m not going to rush it because of who he is, and I’m not going to delay because of who he is.”
The state Attorney General’s report identified this woman as Executive Assistant #1. She says Cuomo reached under her blouse and groped her breast in his office at the mansion.
The woman also told investigators Cuomo had, on various occasions since 2019, grabbed her buttocks, kissed her on the lips, hugged her inappropriately and pried into her personal life.
The governor has not been charged with any crimes. When asked about possible charges, Apple said, “I don’t think that would be proper for me to answer at this point. What I have read so far, I can say that we’re floating around a misdemeanor."
However, the sheriff added that his office has not yet had an in-depth interview with the accuser.
After Apple's news conference, state Attorney General Letitia James' office issued a statement.
"We will cooperate fully with the Albany sheriff and turn over all evidence related to this complainant," her office said in the statement. "Similarly, we will cooperate with all law enforcement agencies, as appropriate."
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