A 26-year-old Occupy Wall Street kitchen worker named Tonye Iketubosin was arrested today in connection to two sexual assaults in Zuccotti Park. The first is the rape of an 18-year-old girl whom Iketubosin invited to share his tent on Saturday morning; the second, the groping of a 17-year-old.
Iketubosin is a Crown Heights native and had reportedly been working in the OWS kitchen for about a week.
Gothamist found another kitchen worker who said that Iketubosin went by the name “Tonye Parks” and that “He was a genuinely nice guy…he came to get shit done.”
Iketubosin is being charged with sexual abuse, according to DCPI.
The incidents and arrest throw into even sharper relief the current atmosphere at Zuccotti; as the Daily News noted last weekend, the park has started to attract more drunks, homeless people, and other nefarious characters — or at least those characters have started to get more attention.
We spoke with Brendan Burke, a member of Occupy Wall Street’s security team, who told us he knew about the rape shortly after it happened. He met with Iketubosin after he found out.
“I listened to the person talk, maintaining their innocence,” Burke said. “The young lady had left the site and there were already charges filed.”
Burke encouraged Iketubosin to leave, but “he thought that would be an admission of guilt.”
“I said, do what you gotta do, everyone knows you’re here and who you are, you’re taking it upon yourself,” he said. He left the park around 9 p.m. last night, forced out by “a whole bunch of people,” according to the kitchen worker quoted by Gothamist.
Burke stressed that the security team encourages anyone who’s been victimized to “go right to police officers, they’re all over the place.”