Judge Imposes 5 Years Probation, 200 Hours Community Service For Therese Patricia Okoumou's 4th Of July Stunt


  • Therese Patricia Okoumou scaled more than 20 feet onto the monument’s pedestal on July 4, 2018.
  • The Statue of Liberty and national park was evacuated during the event.
  • Okoumou also climbed the Southwest Key building in Houston last February.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The woman who climbed the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal to protest the Trump administration’s immigration policies was sentenced to probation and community service Tuesday morning, but no jail time.

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Therese Patricia Okoumou spent about three hours at Lady Liberty’s feet last July 4, until police got her down safely.

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The judge, who went to the statue earlier this month and examined the area, said he felt there was no question Okoumou deliberately took action to put officers in danger.

But after hearing both sides, he decided on a punishment of five years probation plus 200 hours of community service, in part because she had no prior history of criminal convictions, reports CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis.

Okoumou walked into court with her face taped, her jacket reading “I Really Do Care” on the back as a parody of a jacket once worn by first lady Melania Trump. Before sentencing could begin, the judge asked her to remove the tape, which she did.

The judge made it clear if she commits a crime in the future she will get jail time, DeAngelis reported.

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Outside of court, Okoumou’s legal team addressed the chances of her doing a similar stunt in the future.

“Nothing is ruled out, nothing is ruled in,” said attorney Ron Kuby. “The faster the Trump administration manages to reunify the children ripped from their parents, the faster this issue goes into the dust bin of history where it belongs.”

“I’m happy I’m not in prison or I’m in jail,” said Okoumou. “(I) refuse to go to prison because I’m not a criminal.”

Okoumou’s excursion caused the evacuation of Liberty Island. She was later convicted of trespassing, disorderly conduct and interference with agency functions. Federal prosecutors had requested 30 days in prison, three years probation.

Since she is being employed, her ankle bracelet will be removed.

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After her arrest last year, Okoumou started a GoFundMe page for her cause, which has raised more than $23,000.