The trial of accused rapist Hugues Akassy continued yesterday with testimony from a gallery director who said he stole the venue's keys and copied them, so he could hide out there. The Post reports that 25CPW's Bess Greenberg spotted him hiding behind a pillar. When asked about her reaction, she said, "Shock... And disbelief. And then -- that sort of fear, of not being able to register what was behind the mind of the person who had just broken in and who I was alone with in the back of the gallery."
Greenberg believes that Akassy, who was arrested last year for allegedly raping a woman during a picnic date in Riverside Park, stole the keys during a event at the gallery ("She'd kindly let him stow a bag at the gallery -- only to later discover his bedroll inside."). When she kicked him out, Greenberg says he left aggressive voicemails and stalked her. Akassy's lawyer pointed out she never pressed charges, but Greenberg said she was too scared to bring it up until the Manhattan DA's office asked if other women had been approached by Akassy.
Many other women answered the Manhattan DA's office's request for encounters with Akassy, who claimed to be a journalist, including a museum conservator who said he called her "retarded" and "idiotic" after rejecting him. Another woman, a travel agent, who testified earlier this week said that she went out with Akassy a few times in 2007, thinking he was very debonair, but after she rebuffed his sexual advances, he forced her to perform oral sex. According to the AP, "'It was over in a flash,' she said, adding that Akassy taunted her by saying, 'See, I told you you like it. That wasn't so bad, was it? You crazy American woman.' Akassy's attorney, Glenn Hardy, asked the woman why she didn't scream, and she replied, 'I was very afraid.' The woman didn't report an assault until 2010, when she saw a news account of another attack with which Akassy has been charged."
Other women's experiences with Akassy include finding him sleeping on the roof outside her window and groping a Post writer.