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A third woman came forward on Monday evening to accuse New York governor Andrew Cuomo of harassment, telling the The New York Times that he made unwanted sexual advances during a wedding reception in 2019.
Anna Ruch — who has not worked for the state, unlike Cuomo’s two previous accusers — said that she met the governor at the reception and that he placed his hand on her bare lower back. When Ruch pushed his hand away, Cuomo remarked that she seemed “aggressive,” and then placed both his hands on her cheeks and asked if he could kiss Ruch.
The latest allegation comes after two former aides, Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett accused the governor of harassment. Boylan alleged that the governor kissed her on the lips without consent, while Bennett said Cuomo asked intrusive questions of a sexual nature, including whether she would be open to sleeping with older men (Bennett is age 25 and Cuomo is 63).
Cuomo has denied Boylan’s accusation but apologized for behavior that may “have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation” after Bennett aired her allegations.
Ruch provided a photograph of the incident to the Times.
While Democrats across the country are not rallying behind Cuomo, few are calling for him to step down. For now, Rep. Kathleen Rice is the only Democrat from New York’s congressional delegation to explicitly call for Cuomo’s resignation.
“The time has come. The governor must resign,” Rice (D., N.Y.), a former district attorney, wrote on Twitter in response to Ruch’s allegations.
In comments just hours before Ruch’s story broke, New York mayor Bill de Blasio indicated that Cuomo should step down if the allegations against him were substantiated.
“We need a full investigation,” de Blasio told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Monday evening. “If it proves that these allegations are true—how can someone lead a state if they’ve done these kinds of things?”