- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 27, 2021

A second former aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is accusing him of sexual harassment, alleging that the 63-year-old Democratic governor asked her if she ever had sex with older men.

Charlotte Bennett, 25, told The New York Times in a report published Saturday that the governor harassed her last spring at the peak of the state’s battle against the coronavirus. She was an executive assistant and health policy adviser in the Cuomo administration until she resigned last November.

Her accusations came after former Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan renewed her allegations this week that the governor had kissed her without her consent and asked her to play strip poker.

Ms. Bennett told The Times that the most disturbing encounter took place last June 5, when she was alone with Mr. Cuomo in his office at the state Capitol.

She said the governor asked her whether she thought age made a difference in a romantic relationship and told her that he was open to relationships with women in their 20s — comments she interpreted as an invitation for a sexual relationship.

“I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared,” Ms. Bennett said. “And was wondering how I was going to get out of it and assumed it was the end of my job.”

Mr. Cuomo denied the allegations in a statement to The Times on Saturday, saying that he was acting as a mentor to the young woman. He said he has requested an independent review of the matter, and he asked New Yorkers to withhold judgment on him.

“I never made advances toward Ms. Bennett nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate,” Mr. Cuomo said. “The last thing I would ever have wanted was to make her feel any of the things that are being reported.”

Mr. Cuomo was facing calls to resign even before the latest allegations came to light.

Ms. Bennett reported the alleged harassment to the governor’s chief of staff, and was transferred to another job as a health policy adviser with an office on the opposite side of the Capitol, The Times reported. 

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