A third woman has come forward claiming she was the victim of unwanted sexual advances by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo.
This time, however, the alleged victim has a photo of the incident that may very well come back to haunt the Democrat leader.
Anna Ruch, the New York Times reports, met the governor at a wedding reception in September of 2019.
The 33-year-old’s first impression of Cuomo was positive as he worked the room after giving a toast to the newly married couple. But what happened next “instantly unsettled” Ruch.
“Mr. Cuomo put his hand on Ms. Ruch’s bare lower back,” the Times report indicates. She then “removed his hand with her own”, prompting the governor to allegedly accuse her of being “aggressive.”
Rather than taking the hint Ruch recalls, Cuomo purportedly “placed his hands on her cheeks” and “asked if he could kiss her,” causing her to have “pulled away as the governor drew closer.”
What makes Ruch’s allegations stand out is the fact that a friend snapped photos on her cell phone of the uncomfortable interaction.
The image below shows the young woman, clearly dismayed by the governor’s actions as he grabs her face.
A third woman has accused Governor Cuomo of unwanted touching and sexual attention, saying he placed his hands on her face and asked if he could kiss her at her friend’s wedding. A friend took a series of pictures of the incident as it occurred. https://t.co/bgvzBK4vK0 pic.twitter.com/hXvgTvSntQ
— Evan Hill (@evanchill) March 2, 2021
Cuomo’s Sexual Misconduct Scandal Grows
Ruch becomes now the third woman to accuse Governor Andrew Cuomo of sexual misconduct and/or harassment.
Lindsey Boylan, a former Cuomo aide, claims that he forcibly kissed her on the lips and suggested “let’s play strip poker.”
The New York Times followed those allegations with a report that a second aide, Charlotte Bennett, had been asked by the governor if she “had ever been with an older man.”
What sets Ruch’s allegations apart, according to the New York Times, is that she has never worked for Cuomo but her story seems to align with the pattern described by those who have.
I stand with Anna Ruch. Anna — I hear you, I see you. I’m so sorry. His inappropriate and aggressive behavior cannot be justified or normalized. Thank you for your courage and strength. Here for you always. https://t.co/EkxV05VPVX
— Charlotte Bennett (@_char_bennett_) March 2, 2021
“I was so confused and shocked and embarrassed,” Ruch said of the unwanted advances. “I turned my head away and didn’t have words in that moment.”
“Shaken, Ms. Ruch said, she later had to ask a friend if Mr. Cuomo’s lips had made contact with her face as she pulled away,” the Times report reads. “The governor had kissed her cheek, she was told.”
The newspaper states that Cuomo’s office didn’t directly respond to Ruch’s claims but instead directed them to a statement Cuomo previously made saying some of his actions may “have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation.”
The statement went on to suggest the governor simply felt he was “being playful” and that he was “joking,” something even New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) wasn’t buying.
“Sexual harassment is not funny,” railed de Blasio. “Who the hell tries to explain that by saying I was just joking around?”
“Sexual harassment is not funny.”
NYC Mayor de Blasio chided Gov. Cuomo on Monday, calling for a “full investigation” of sexual-harassment allegations and the scandal involving underreported Covid deaths in nursing homes https://t.co/8FevQbzJpd pic.twitter.com/A6s0adJ6zg
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) March 1, 2021
Other Photos Surface
Ruch’s photos weren’t the only ones circulating regarding Andrew Cuomo and his sexual harassment scandal.
The Daily Mail published photos of Cuomo allegedly “getting cozy” with Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa just days after she got married.
“He was quite brazen about it. It was all in public view in a restaurant,” an eyewitness told the Daily Mail regarding the images.
DeRosa responded to the photos saying it was nothing more than a “misogynistic rumor” and insisting, “The Governor and I have never had an intimate relationship.”
— Carly Ortiz-Lytle (@intlcarly) March 2, 2021
In an essay penned by Boylan, she accused DeRosa and “other top women” around the governor of having “normalized” his alleged harassment.
The Daily Mail notes, while DeRosa has defended Cuomo’s actions in their restaurant photos, that the images “may pile further pressure on the governor.”
And that pressure is starting to mount.
President Biden has indicated he backs an “independent review” of the claims.
.@DanaBashCNN asks @PressSec if @JoeBiden believes @NYGovCuomo’s accusers or the gov. Spox says story was “hard to read, as a woman” and calls for independent “review” of both sets of allegations. pic.twitter.com/0fN8xPS6Cc
— Casey Seiler (@CaseySeiler) February 28, 2021
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has labeled the allegations “credible.”
“We need a full investigation of the nursing home issue where thousands of people died, information was covered up on purpose, and we still don’t know if our seniors are safe.”
Representative Kathleen Rice (D-NY) has now become the first Democrat to demand Cuomo tender his resignation.
The time has come. The Governor must resign. https://t.co/GjcvuNfpfQ
— Kathleen Rice (@RepKathleenRice) March 2, 2021
“It sickened me, it sickened me,” de Blasio said of the reports of harassment coming out about Cuomo.
“The thought of a powerful man trying to take advantage of his power, intimidate a young woman and just the sense that he was treating her … like she was his property,” he added. “Just disgusting, creepy.”
The photos now seem to back up that description.
Read more at the Political Insider