A second former aide has accused Governor Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment

25-year-old Charlotte Bennett has accused New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment following an allegation made by Linda Boylan.

CW: Sexual harassment

Last week, a former aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo came forward as a victim of his sexual assault.

In an interview with the New York Times, 25-year-old Charlotte Bennett accused the 63-year-old Governor of making inappropriate sexual comments, asking personal questions, and insinuating that he wanted to sleep with her.

Image: ABC News

The claims follow the similar story of former State Economic Development official Lindsey Boylan, who released a detailed accusation of Cuomo’s harassment including an unwarranted kiss.

Charlotte was approached by the New York Times after she reposted Boylan’s statement on Twitter stating, “for those wondering what it’s like to work for the Cuomo admin, read Linsey Boylan’s story,” 

Bennett mentioned to the Times that she could relate to Boylan’s accusations, stating that whilst she saw Cuomo as a “father figure,” he made inappropriate comments about her relationships that made her feel uncomfortable.

The 25-year-old was hired in 2019, working in an entry level position. Less than six months into her role, she was promoted to senior briefer after an interview Cuomo.

Bennett stated that she got along very well with the Governor, mentioning that he would ask occasionally about her dating life but she “wasn’t thinking about it as anything sexual.” 

Cuomo’s role as Bennett’s mentor changed after an interaction in May 2020 where she reported that Cuomo was inappropriately fixated on her experience as a sexual assault survivor.

“The way he was repeating… ‘you were raped and abused and attacked and assaulted and betrayed’… it was like he was testing me,” Bennett recalls in text to a friend.

In a statement to the Times, Governor Cuomo confirms that Bennett had been open about her assault experience and he simply made an effort to be supportive and helpful; “the last thing I would ever have wanted was to make her feel any of the things that are being reported.” 

Three weeks after the incident, Bennett was called into Cuomo’s office as a dictator. After she completed her work, the Governor asked her to turn off her recorder, bringing up personal topics and asking questions after her romantic life and “whether she ever had sex with older men.”

Cuomo’s comments follow an alleged stream of harassing behaviour that extends beyond Bennett’s experiences. In Boylan’s online statement, she mentioned that Cuomo has ridiculed other female colleagues about their romantic relationships, saying that men only get women through “money and power.” 

“Governor Andrew Cuomo has created a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected,” Boylan stated.

Despite Bennett mentioning that she was satisfied with how the incident was handled, transferring to a different part of the Capitol as health policy advisor, an outside review will still be conducted on the matter.

The outside review, already authorised by Mr Cuomo, will be conducted by former federal Judge Barbara S. Jones.

Cuomo has asked all New Yorkers to await the findings of the review and know the facts before making any judgements.