A convicted sex offender accused of violently raping a woman at Hudson River Park last month told police that he doesn’t know if he raped the woman because he’d consumed five Four Lokos before the attack — but that was only after drinking vodka and smoking weed and K-2, a brand of synthetic marijuana.
Four Loko is a booze-infused energy drink that has been banned in Washington state and at several universities following a plethora of cases of blackouts and alcohol poisoning credited to the drink. Four Loko, however, is not a recognized legal defense for rape.
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance announced yesterday that Jonathan Stewart has been formally indicted on charges of predatory sexual assault, rape in the first degree, criminal sexual act
in the first degree, and sexual abuse in the first degree for the September 22 rape.
Vance says Stewart approached the victim as she was sitting on a bench in the park. When she tried to walk away, he attacked her and dragged her into the bushes, where he raped her.
The woman managed to escape the initial attack, but Stewart caught up with her shortly after. He then raped her again.
The woman reported the rape to police, who found Stewart hiding in nearby bushes.
“Did I do something wrong, because I don’t remember because I had Four Loko,” Stewart reportedly told arresting officers. “I don’t know what’s going on. I just woke up.”
He went on to tell police that “I drank five Four Lokos, Grey Goose Vodka, smoked marijuana and K2.”
He then said he planned to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge.
“[Stewart] is accused of violently raping a young woman in a public park, where she was seeking peace and solitude,” Vance says. “Every time a sexual assault occurs in a public place, like a park, it destroys the delicate sense of safety that allows neighbors and visitors to appreciate the space without fear.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 24, 2012