Woman Who Climbed Statue Of Liberty Wraps Tape On Her Face At Sentencing

The woman who climbed the statue of Liberty on July 4th last year to protest against the separation of migrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border faced court on Tuesday and was sentenced to five years’ probation and 200 hours of community service.

Therese Patricia Okoumou was sentenced in New York and attended the sentencing with her face covered with sticky tape. The irritated judge refused to proceed until she removed it. Patricia was convicted last December for trespassing and attempting to climb the outside of the Statue of Liberty last 4 July, then refusing to come down, as police helicopters circled the monument and evacuated the monument.

Patricia taped her mouth to protest against what she said are restrictions to her freedom of expression in relation to her determination to carry out direct action-style protest over immigration rights. U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein pardoned Patricia from prison for her conviction on multiple misdemeanor counts though he berated her for what he thought was a lack of concern for rescuers whose safety she jeopardized, he said.

Attorney Ron Kuby said, “Nothing is ruled out, nothing is ruled in … The faster the Trump administration manages to reunify the children ripped from their parents, the faster this issue goes into the dust bin of history where it belongs.”

After turning up in court with fellow activists in support, Patricia told the judge, “I do not need probation, and I do not belong in prison. I am not a criminal.” The judge made it clear if she commits a crime in the future she will get jail time, DeAngelis reported. After she was arrested last year, a GoFundMe page for her cause raised more than $23,000.

Copyright 2018 THINK ALOUD