Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., told Newsmax on Friday that disgraced former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ''should go to prison'' if convicted of a sexual abuse charge.
''I've said Andrew Cuomo should go to prison. I was the first elected official at the federal level to call for an investigation, to call for his resignation, and to call for him to be arrested,'' Stefanik, the House Republican Conference chair, said on ''Eric Bolling: The Balance.''
''This is one of a number of crimes that he has committed. He is a serial sexual predator, but also he has committed crimes of corruption.''
According to a criminal complaint filed Thursday in Albany City Criminal Court by the Albany County Sheriff's Office, Cuomo is accused of a Class A misdemeanor by ''forcibly touching'' a staffer on the second floor of the governor's mansion around 4 p.m. Dec. 7, 2020.
The complaint alleges that Cuomo put his hand under the blouse of the staffer, touching her left breast.
''A person is guilty of forcible touching when such person intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose forcibly touches the sexual or other intimate parts of another person for the purpose of degrading or abusing such person, or for the purpose of gratifying the actor's sexual desire,'' the complaint said.
According to the New York Lawyers website, Cuomo could face up to a year in city or county jail if convicted, and could also be fined, placed on probation, or have an order of protection from the woman put on him by the court.
The charge Thursday is the first since Cuomo resigned as governor in August following a scathing report from state Attorney General Letitia James that found Cuomo engaged in a ''disturbing'' pattern of hugging, kissing and groping women both inside and outside of his staff while governor.
Cuomo's attorney, Rita Glavin, said in a statement to The New York Times that he ''never assaulted anyone,'' and that this prosecution is motivated strictly by politics.
''This is not professional law enforcement,'' she told the Times. ''This is politics.''
The criminal charge comes within 24 hours of James' announcement of her candidacy for governor.
Stefanik said that Cuomo's executive orders during the COVID-19 pandemic led to the deaths of an estimated 15,000 seniors in the state, when he required seniors leaving the hospital with the virus to return to nursing homes and extended care centers, and then tried to cover up the information when the Department of Justice started asking questions.
''The criminal cover-up of the over 15,000 vulnerable seniors who lost their lives during the COVID pandemic, who he forcibly placed into nursing homes because of the executive order in New York state, which did not follow federal law,'' she said. ''So, this is a criminally corrupt governor. He is disgraced, and for his attorney to claim politics, it's just outrageous.''
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