The man accused of raping a Russian tourist in Riverside Park was indicted by a grand jury yesterday. Hugues-Denver Akassy, a self-proclaimed TV reporter (well, he does have a website), was charged for numerous incidents on Upper West Side women. Besides the alleged rape, there are allegations of harassment and criminal trespass. But his lawyer said, "These are just allegations by women who he admits social interaction with -- and all of those interactions were consensual." So, being harassed on the street is consensual?

When the Manhattan DA's asked the public for information about Akassy—because there were other complaints against him—apparently dozens of women called the office to offer their stories. The NY Times spoke to a 25-year-old lawyer who encountered Akassy near the Lincoln Square movie theaters:

He asked her if she was European, she said. The woman, who asked that her name be withheld, said she told Mr. Akassy she was in a hurry and went on her way.

About a month later, however, Mr. Akassy showed up at her Upper West Side apartment building as she was walking in, she said. “Do you remember me?” she recalled him asking, before he talked about his show, his Web site and how he had been watching her. She said she gave him her e-mail address to get him to leave.


In an email, he told her that she was "interesting and attractive" and asked her to coffee, "Just two companions who enjoy each other company to explore the beauties of life." Creeped out, she forward the email to her boyfriend, who told Akassy to back off. And then: "The next day, Mr. Akassy followed her down the street and yelled expletives at her, she said. 'So how typical of you as an American girl: I’m being nice to you and you’re acting rude in return, right!?' he wrote in an e-mail message." When the woman went to the police, a detective, who did take a report, "told her not to worry because Mr. Akassy’s Web site, orbitetv.org, indicated that he was a public figure and therefore he was unlikely to 'do anything stupid.'"

The "stupid" incident that landed Akassy in jail was allegedly luring a Russian tourist to a picnic dinner in Riverside Park and then raping her in a secluded area. His lawyer claims it was consensual. Akassy was recently arrested when he was found outside an Upper West SIde woman's apartment window, on a cardboard bed; he claimed he was homeless.