According to a new lawsuit, New York state Sen. Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn) has been accused of raping a woman who was working with him to coordinate relief efforts for Haiti nearly 20 years ago.
On Friday, Olga Jean-Baptiste filed the suit in the Brooklyn Supreme Court, alleging that Parker raped her in her apartment in 2004, while he was a first-term state legislator, after discussing her humanitarian visit to the island nation, which had at the time been recovering from catastrophic flooding.
Then-31-year-old Jean-Baptiste had worked with Parker to gather and deliver necessities to Haiti ahead of her trip. When she returned to the U.S., Parker allegedly asked if he could visit her apartment in order to pick up photos and discuss her work there.
According to the suit, the two sat at Jean-Baptiste’s living room table where they chatted for some time, but after Jean-Baptiste gave Parker the photographs, she stood up to say goodbye when the senator allegedly grabbed her by the wrists.
“[Jean-Baptiste] was frozen in fear and was unable to cry out,” the lawsuit states. She then alleges Parker took her “down the hallway of her apartment to her bedroom, made a sexual comment and put her face down on the bed.”
Jean-Bapiste alleges that he then raped her. She claims she never consented to any sexual acts.
A spokesperson for state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said she is aware of the “disturbing” allegations, saying in a statement, “These allegations are extremely disturbing and we take them very seriously and we will continue to monitor this situation and we will take appropriate action as more information is learned.”
The law extended the statute of limitations for one year for sex crimes, allowing victims to sue alleged abusers in court, regardless of how long it had been since the alleged crime occurred. Victims usually have less than five years to bring such claims in civil court.
Parker has been in legal trouble many times, and the new allegations are not the first time Parker has been accused of assault.
Parker, 56, is known for his hot-headedness and has had a history of anger issues since first being elected to the state legislature in 2002. He has landed himself in trouble, both legal and otherwise, as a result of his temper.
In 2005, Parker was arrested and charged with assault after he punched a traffic agent for writing him a $55 ticket for double parking. However, the charges were dropped after he agreed to take anger management classes.
In 2010, Parker was convicted of misdemeanor criminal mischief after damaging a camera belonging to a New York Post photographer outside his mother’s home in Brooklyn. He received three years’ probation and was again ordered to attend anger management classes.
Parker was also stripped of his role as majority whip and lost his chairmanship of the energy committee.
In 2019, Parker also got into a shouting match with former state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi (D) over an ethics complaint related to a social media post, where parker told a GOP operative to “kill yourself.”
Parker has, regardless of his controversies, been reelected to the state Senate consistently for over two decades.
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