Female State Trooper Goes After Cuomo in Court

She alleges then-governor sexually harassed her, and a top aide covered it up
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 18, 2022 9:52 AM CST
Female State Trooper Sues Andrew Cuomo
Aide Melissa DeRosa, left, joins then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo as he speaks to reporters during a news conference in 2018.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

A New York state trooper who testified that former Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed her has filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to declare that Cuomo, a top aide, and state police violated her civil rights. The trooper's name was not disclosed in the lawsuit, filed in Manhattan against Cuomo, New York State Police, and Cuomo's former top aide Melissa DeRosa, per the AP. The suit seeks attorney fees, damages for "severe mental anguish and emotional distress," and a declaratory judgment that Cuomo, DeRosa, and state police violated civil laws on the federal, state, and city level prohibiting sexual harassment.

Cuomo resigned in August, days after an independent probe found he sexually harassed nearly a dozen women and that he and aides worked to retaliate against one of his accusers. Those accusers included the unnamed state trooper on his security detail, who said he allegedly subjected her to sexual remarks and on occasion ran his hand or fingers across her stomach and her back. "As with his other victims, the governor used his physical proximity to Trooper 1 to touch her inappropriately," the lawsuit alleges. "He commented on her appearance ('why don’t you wear a dress?'); wanted to kiss her ('can I kiss you?'); asked her to find him a girlfriend who could ‘handle pain'; and steered their conversations towards sex, the suit said.

Several district attorneys in New York said they found Cuomo’s accusers "credible," but said the available evidence wasn’t strong enough to press criminal charges against him. Cuomo spokesperson Rich Azzopardi blasted the trooper’s lawsuit. "Gov. Cuomo will fight every attempt at cheap cash extortions and is anxious to have the dirty politics stop—we look forward to justice in a court of law," Azzopardi said. Cuomo told investigators that he would hug the female trooper hello, and that he "may have touched her shoulder." He said he didn’t remember running his fingers down her back or touching her stomach. The trooper's lawsuit claims former aide DeRosa helped "cover up" Cuomo's sexual harassment.

(More Andrew Cuomo stories.)

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