(Reuters) -A New York state trooper who has accused former Governor Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment sued Cuomo and a top aide on Thursday, stating that she was subjected to discrimination and retaliation after making the allegations.
The woman, identified in court documents only as Trooper 1, says that Cuomo touched her inappropriately on at least two occasions and made repeated comments on her appearance.
“Given the threats and victim-shaming that Trooper 1 has faced after she testified truthfully about being sexually harassed in the workplace by the former governor, she has made the decision to proceed with this lawsuit anonymously with the hope that she can vindicate her legal rights and move on with her life,” attorney Valdi Licul said in a written statement.
“We will not be deterred by the ex-Governor’s bullying tactics,” Licul said. “He is only making his legal problems worse by lashing out at his victim with false and defamatory statements intended to further retaliate against her.”
A Democrat who ran New York for a decade, Cuomo resigned in August after multiple women who worked for him accused him of unwanted sexual advances and contact. He denied touching anyone inappropriately and said his efforts to be a friendly boss may have been misinterpreted as flirtation.
In January, the last county prosecutor investigating allegations from one of several women said he had no legal basis to pursue a case, meaning Cuomo would not face criminal charges related to the sexual harassment claims that led to his resignation.
A spokesman for the 64-year-old former governor, Rich Azzopardi, said on Twitter that the latest lawsuit was based on allegations that prosecutors had already dismissed.
Azzopardi also said the law firm representing the trooper was “widely known to use the press to extort settlements on behalf of anonymous claimants.”
The trooper accuses a longtime aide to Cuomo, Melissa DeRosa, of helping cover up the governor’s misdeeds.
A lawyer for DeRosa said on Twitter that the aide had had little interaction with the trooper and called the lawsuit “beyond frivolous.”
The state police are also named in the lawsuit, which was posted online by New York media.
(Reporting by Dan WhitcombEditing by Shri Navaratnam, Robert Birsel)