New York Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke Friday in New York City at an event on the state's COVID-19 testing and vaccine verification program. Pool photo by Carlo Allegri/UPI | License Photo
March 29 (UPI) -- An upstate New York resident on Monday became the latest woman to accuse New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of unwanted advances, saying he inappropriately kissed in her own home in 2017.
Sherry Vill, 55, of Greece, N.Y., leveled the allegations against Cuomo during an online news conference, joining a group of nine other women -- including several former aides -- who have made similar claims against Cuomo since December.
Well-known feminist attorney Gloria Allred appeared with Vill during the event and presented a photo of the encounter in which Cuomo appeared to grab Vill with both hands and kiss her on the cheek.
They said the incident happened during a trip the governor took to the Rochester, N.Y., area to survey flood damage.
Vill said she invited Cuomo into her home during the visit to talk about flood damage, but that once in her house, the "governor looked at me, approached me, took my hand and pulled me to him," and kissed her "in what I felt was a highly sexual manner" with family members watching.
He repeated the kiss, she said, adding, "I could not use my other hand to stop him because he did it so quickly, and I also was holding my dog with my other hand."
Vill does not plan to file charges against Cuomo, Allred said, but indicated she would give her information to the state attorney general's office, which is investigating multiple sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct allegations against the governor.
Following the news conference, Cuomo's attorney, Rita Glaven, said in an issued statement the governor "has frequently sought to comfort New Yorkers with hugs and kisses" during "times of crisis."
"As I have said before, the governor has greeted both men and women with hugs, a kiss on the cheek, forehead or hand for the past 40 years," she said, pointing to photos of Cuomo embracing others during the same trip.
New York's two Democratic U.S. senators, Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, as well the majority of its House members two weeks ago urged Cuomo to step down due to "the multiple, credible sexual harassment and misconduct allegations."
The governor, however, has steadfastly refused to resign over the allegations.
"I never harassed anyone, I never assaulted anyone, I never abused anyone," he said earlier this month.