Charlotte Bennett, 25, told the New York Times that the Democratic governor of New York asked her inappropriate questions about her sex life. She is the second woman to come forth with a sexual harassment claim publically.
Ms. Bennett, 25, said the most unsettling episode occurred on June 5, when she was alone with Mr. Cuomo in his State Capitol office. In a series of interviews this week, she said the governor had asked her numerous questions about her personal life, including whether she thought age made a difference in romantic relationships and had said that he was open to relationships with women in their 20s — comments she interpreted as explicit overtures to a sexual relationship. She thought the Gov was “grooming her.”
Mr. Cuomo said in a statement to The Times on Saturday that he believed he had been acting as a mentor and had “never made advances toward Ms. Bennett, I did he ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate.” He said he had requested an independent review of the matter and asked that New Yorkers await the findings “before making any judgments.” Source: New York Times.
The Times continued, “She had graduated from Hamilton College in 2017, where she was active in women’s issues and founded a sexual misconduct task force. She said her own experience in surviving a sexual attack had prompted her to “help sexual assault survivors be heard and enforce victims’ rights,” according to a bulletin on the college’s website.”
Interestingly, this is the second woman to come forth making sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo. Ms. Bennett’s self-training and experience gained from her “sexual assault survivor” help seminars are also noteworthy.
Over the past several decades, we have experienced several cases where “experts” in sexual assault cases have testified for the prosecution. In doing so, they often make broad generalizations about alleged offenders’ behavior, including the usage of terms such as “grooming.”
In the wake of prior claims against the same individual, victims who come forth with allegations can be suspicious. Often in criminal cases, advocates for victims claim that they came forward because the first complainant’s resolution inspired them.
This can be a fallacious contention: Some “victims” use the prior accusation to nourish their claims.
We are not privy to the specifics of Bennett’s accusations and are not in a position to judge her veracity, and we do not. Given the nature of the allegations, the matter should be submitted for careful review. Or, Bennett should proceed with civil proceedings where people testify under oath.