On Tuesday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul called the rape accusations against New York state Sen. Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn) “extremely disturbing” but refused to call for the embattled Democrat to step down.
“As the information unfolds, I may have a strong opinion on that but right now I just want to see what else is out there,” Hochul told reporters Tuesday. “Let’s let this unfold a little bit.”
Late last week, Parker was accused of rape by Olga Jean-Baptiste, who filed a lawsuit in the Brooklyn Supreme Court alleging that Parker grabbed her by the wrists and raped her in her apartment, after she had helped him coordinate relief efforts for Haiti in 2004.
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.
However, 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,” according to her lawsuit, which then alleges that Parker took her “down the hallway of her apartment to her bedroom, made a sexual comment and put her face down on the bed.”
The lawsuit against Parker was filed under the Adult Survivors Act, which allowed victims of sex crimes to file charges beyond the statute of limitations. Victims usually have less than five years to bring such claims in civil court. The window for victims to file closes later this week.
Hochul, who passed the legislation in 2022, was quick to remind reporters that she had passed the legislation.
“I’m the one who extended the Adult Survivor Act that created the environment for people to come forward with, you know, horrific incidents of assaults from the past,” Hochul said Tuesday.
Parker, 56, has had several accusations of violence since his election to the state legislature in 2002.
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.
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