On Monday, a ninth woman accused New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) of sexual misconduct, illustrating in detail how he allegedly grabbed her face and forcibly kissed her at her home.
Cuomo is currently being investigated by New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) for the accusations of sexual misconduct, as well as separately for allegedly covering up data on COVID-related nursing home deaths.
“The whole thing was so strange and inappropriate and still makes me nervous and afraid because of his power and position,” said 55-year-old Sherry Vill, a married mother of three, during an afternoon press conference with attorney Gloria Allred, according to The New York Post. “I am still afraid of him, but I am no longer willing to remain silent.”
The alleged incident happened in May 2017, while the governor was touring homes in Greece, New York, which had recently been hit by flooding, including Vill’s. She and her attorney provided images of Vill and Cuomo together to corroborate her account.
Vill said Cuomo “took my hand and pulled me to him,” then he kissing her on the cheek in what she felt was in “a highly sexual manner.”
The governor tried to explain the inappropriate contact as a cultural norm, according to Vill.
“He said, ‘That’s what Italians do, kiss both cheeks,’” she recanted.
“I felt shocked and didn’t understand what had just happened,” Vill said. “But I knew I felt embarrassed and weird about his kissing me. I am Italian, and in my family, family members kiss. Strangers do not kiss, especially upon meeting someone for the first time.”
As he was departing, Cuomo “stopped, he turned to me and said, ‘You are beautiful,’” she recalled.
“That made me feel even more uncomfortable,” Vill said. “I felt as though he was coming on to me in my own home.”
Cuomo allegedly grabbed Vill’s face another time and kissed her on the cheek outside her house. This occurred in front of Vill’s son, who was recording the governor’s visit and snapped a picture of the contact, which was displayed at the virtual news conference on Monday, according to The Post.
MORE ON CUOMO: Cuomo: ‘I’m not going to resign’
“I felt like I was being manhandled, especially because he was holding my face and he was kissing my cheek again,” Vill said. “The way he looked at me and his body language made me very uncomfortable. I felt he was acting in a highly flirtatious and inappropriate manner, especially in front of my family and neighbors.”
“I know the difference between an innocent gesture and a sexual one,” she also said. “I never felt as uncomfortable as I did the day that Gov. Cuomo came to my home. His actions were very overly sexual, highly inappropriate and disrespectful to me and my family.”
To learn more about the story and the accusation, read The New York Post‘s full article here.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.
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Remote Learning Lowered Test Scores in Every State; Minority Students Hit the Worst
A paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) shows remote learning has had a negative impact on students’ test scores in every state. Not only were students across the country affected, minority students were impacted the most.
According to the publication, remote learning led to declines in test scores for English and math, when compared to scores of students who went to schools with more in-person learning. “Our research shows that test score losses are significantly larger in districts with less in-person learning,” said Emily Oster, professor of economics at Brown University.
“This suggests, yes, that virtual learning was – and is – less effective than in-person learning, at least as measured by school-based testing” added Oster. “Passing rates in math declined by 14.2 percentage points on average; we estimate this decline was 10.1 percentage points smaller for districts fully in-person,” the study found.
The research combined “district-level schooling mode data from the 2020-21 school year,” “district-level test score data from 2015 to 2021” and “demographic data from the NCES,” according to the study.
Data was collected from students in third to eighth grades in 12 states: Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Score declines showed variations by state, as well. Virginia “which had the most complete virtual learning time, along with Colorado, saw an almost 32% drop on math test scores in the 2020-21 school year when compared to the 2018-19 school year” reports Tampa Free Press.
Wyoming, however, “which had the most in-person learning, along with Florida, saw just a 2.3% drop in English, the study found.”
“Changes in English Language Arts (ELA) were smaller than math scores overall, but drops in scores were greater in districts with larger black and Hispanic populations and students eligible for free and reduced lunch prices” reports Tampa Free Press.
“Districts that have a larger share of black and Hispanic students and less in-person schooling also saw a greater decline in ELA test scores than those with more in-person schooling. “
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