(NEW YORK) — A New York federal judge wants a ladder and a visit to the Statue of Liberty before he sentences a woman who has come before his court.
The woman in question is Staten Island resident Therese Patricia Okoumou, 44, who was arrested last July 4 for scaling the base of the iconic statue and taking up temporary residence on Lady Liberty’s right foot.
Liberty Island, where the statue is located, was evacuated and all visitors were taken off the island via ferry, a National Parks spokesperson said at the time.
Footage from helicopters showed her sitting at the base of the statue, occasionally lying on her stomach and kicking her feet up behind her, ABC station WABC reported.
Police were seen on the base of the Statue of Liberty, apparently trying to verbally engage with Okoumou before physically apprehending her. Footage from the scene showed the officers wearing harnesses and using ladders to scale the statue’s base.
Okoumou was seen holding a t-shirt displaying the words “Rise and Resist” and “Trump Care Makes Us Sick.” She later said that she was protesting President Donald Trump’s family separation policies.
She was found guilty in a one-day federal bench trial of a number of misdemeanors including trespassing, disorderly conduct and interfering with government agency functions.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein said in a court order this week that he wants to visit Liberty Island and see the scene of the crime from his own vantage point so he can “better appreciate the risks or hazards created by the defendant’s conduct.”
He asked federal prosecutors in Manhattan to arrange the trip, assuming “this can be accomplished without unduly inconveniencing the National Park Service.”
“The court would like a ladder to be made available so the court (and counsel if requested) can view, while remaining on the ladder, the surface of the area where the defendant was situated on July 4, 2018,” Gorenstein wrote.
Gorenstein will decide whether Patricia Okoumou should go to prison for the stunt.
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