Therese Okoumou, who goes by the name Patricia, was found guilty Monday by a federal judge in Manhattan for trespassing, disorderly conduct and interfering with government functions. The three misdemeanor charges could see Okoumou, 44, serve up to 18 months behind bars.
A teary-eyed Okoumou took the witness stand during her one-day trial and said she “wanted to send a strong statement that children do not belong in cages.”
“I had been destroyed by the plight of our broken immigration system,” she said about trespassing on the Statue of Liberty.
The tourist spot was evacuated as Okoumou climbed the base.
Judge Gabriel Gorenstein said that despite the climber’s claims that she scaled the statue to protest President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, it does not give her the right to break the law.
“I think the defendant’s lawyers know that if I took them up on that invitation, none of us is protected by the law,” said Gorenstein.
Okoumou will be sentenced in March.
What's Your Reaction?
Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.