Brooklyn ‘Occupier’ Due in Court Wednesday to Face Sex-Abuse Charges

January 31, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Sex Attack Reported Just Two Weeks Before Protesters Evicted From Zuccotti Park

By Ryan Thompson
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

NEW YORK — An Occupy Wall Street protester from Crown Heights is expected in court Wednesday to face sex abuse charges.

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Tonye Iketubosin, 26, of Crown Heights, worked at the makeshift kitchen in Zuccotti Park during the height of the “Occupy” protests in the fall. He apparently was asked to leave when rumors began to circulate concerning his alleged sex attacks, but no formal complaint was filed with police.

Iketubosin is charged with sex abuse for two separate incidents in October. He also faces forcible touching and aggravated harassment charges.  He is currently out on $7,500 bond and is due in court Wednesday for a pretrial hearing in Manhattan Criminal Court.

At the time of the purported crimes, which initially included allegations of rape, Mayor Michael Bloomberg increased his criticism of the protesters inside the Lower Manhattan park for disturbing nearby residents and called the protesters actions “despicable” for not reporting the crimes to police.

Protesters were forcibly removed from Zuccotti Park about two weeks later in November.

The allegations against Iketubosin came to light when an 18-year-old Massachusetts woman who had gotten into an argument with her male companion had reportedly accepted Iketubosin’s offer to stay in his tent, where he allegedly raped her, according to initial reports. However, no rape nor any felony charges have been filed against Iketubosin, and all of his pending charges are misdemeanors.

A week earlier, Iketubosin allegedly groped a 17-year-old female whom he helped set up a tent. She then reportedly found Iketubosin inside her tent later, where he allegedly groped her after refusing to leave.

At the time, the city stated that there had been other documented gropings and assaults inside Zuccotti Park, but most had gone unreported, officials said.

Occupy Wall Street (OWS) “security” personnel, which consisted of volunteer protesters, had apparently interviewed Iketubosin and the alleged victim shortly after the alleged rape. Iketubosin claimed he was innocent, and so he was allowed to stay at the encampment near the World Trade Center until a large group of protesters subsequently forced him to leave.

Iketubosin faces a maximum of two years in prison if convicted of crimes in both the alleged incidents.

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