The trial for the man allegedly raped a woman in Riverside Park in 2010—and stalked numerous other women— finally started. A woman who briefly went out with Hugues Akassy but found his behavior odd and aggressive said she received this text from him, "You are the most shallow, pathetic, retarded idiot woman I have ever met." And when he sent that text, Akassy was supposedly banging on her apartment door yelling "bitch!" because she wouldn't let him in her apartment.

Paula D'Agostino, who works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, said she met Akassy on the Upper West Side in 2009. According to DNAinfo, Akassy stopped her because she seemed familiar: "She did not believe she'd ever met the 43-year-old, but he asked her to get coffee after apologizing if it seemed 'too forward,' D'Agostino said. They went for coffee, discussed traveling and politics, and enjoyed each other's company, she testified." She said, "He seemed a very smart, articulate person — one of those people you'd expect to meet in New York," adding, "He told me, 'Don't worry, I'm a journalist.' We briefly discussed his work and he showed me his ID."

Akassy, who has recently complained about being beaten in jail, is accused of raping a woman (one he initially met at the Time Warner Center) while on a picnic date at Riverside Park. His arrest prompted other women—including a NY Post writer— to contact the Manhattan DA's office to say Akassy approached them in public places ( like the Fifth Avenue Apple Store) and then broke things off because he was very aggressive and even began to stalk them.