Eloi woman strikes up friendship with black man who approaches her on street, it ends up in New York criminal court

(UPDATE: I had expressed surprise that the Times was even covering this story about a black man charged with sexually assaulting white women. In fact, the Times was not, as I thought, being more forthcoming than usual about a racially embarrassing story; it was covering up the story. Akassy has not just been accused of sexual assault, but of rape [see this, this, and this], a word that is nowhere to be seen in the Times article.)

I’m surprised this story of a black man’s classically manipulative, predatory behavior toward a classically naïve white liberal woman was published in the New York Times.

October 24, 2011
Telling Court of a New Friend Turned Stalker

An art researcher from Italy spent about three hours in a Manhattan courtroom on Monday telling a jury how a chance meeting on the Upper West Side two years ago with a man she initially found intriguing led to a bizarre on-again, off-again acquaintanceship that, she said, turned frightening.

Hugues-Denver Akassy

The testimony from the researcher came in the State Supreme Court trial of Hugues-Denver Akassy, who faces charges that he stalked and harassed the woman, who works for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and committed crimes, including sexual assault, against four other women.

Mr. Akassy randomly approached the woman in June 2009 while she was walking home from work and asked if they had met before, the woman testified. She replied that they had not, she said.

During their initial conversation that evening—Mr. Akassy talked her into going to a coffee shop and then a bar, she said—Mr. Akassy seemed to pick up on nuances about her.

He asked her why she spoke with a British inflection, she said. She had lived in London for five years, she said she told him.

The woman said he asked her why she was “so melancholic” when she spoke about London.

It was because she had been in a serious relationship there that had ended, she said she told him.

He told her that he was a journalist who hosted a public affairs show on the Internet, and that it would be getting picked up by television, she said. (Many of Mr. Akassy’s claims that he had interviewed prominent people were false.)

After they parted, the woman said, she looked at his Web site and, impressed by his purported journalistic and musical backgrounds, e-mailed him to arrange another meeting.

That second meeting, she said, was a picnic in Central Park during which Mr. Akassy tried to kiss her, but she pushed him off. After they left the park and she said she was going home, the woman said, Mr. Akassy snapped at her, telling her that she was mean and insinuating that she was discriminating against him because he was black. Taken aback, the woman said, she took him to a nearby bar for a glass of wine to calm him down. [LA replies: Ahh, that “You’re discriminating against poor ol’ black me” accusation works every time with liberal white women.]

She decided not to see him again, but then he showed up at her job, she said. They walked to Central Park, where he tried to hug her and kiss her, but she pushed him off, she said.

About two months later, she said, he showed up at her job again. Although she was concerned, she said, she also believed she had gained a better understanding of why Mr. Akassy had become angry with her. In a newsletter she had received from his Web site, Mr. Akassy had described being discriminated against in a manner similar to how the Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. said he had been when he was arrested in his home in 2009.

So she agreed to meet with him a few days later for a picnic in Riverside Park, the woman testified. [LA replies: Yep, the discrimination accusation works every time.] But during that picnic, Mr. Akassy pressed his body against hers and kissed her, and she had to push him away with her arms and knees, she said.

She hurried away and cried, she said. Still, the woman said, Mr. Akassy caught up to her and talked her into walking with him down to a pier, where he persuaded her to stand on a rail and splay her arms out. She said she laughed when he told her they were posing like Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie “Titanic.”

After Mr. Akassy walked her home that night, he banged on her door when she would not let him in, she said. She cut off all contact with him after he sent her insulting text messages that night, she said. After her sister told her that Mr. Akassy had been arrested in another case, she said, she called the police to tell them what had happened to her.

- end of initial entry -

Tim W. writes:

“Mr. Akassy randomly approached the woman in June 2009 while she was walking home from work and asked if they had met before, the woman testified. She replied that they had not, she said.”

How do you randomly ask a woman if you have met her before? Either you really have met her before, or at least you think you have, in which case you aren’t asking her at random. Or you know you haven’t met her before and are using the old “haven’t I met you before” deal as a pick-up line for someone you want to meet, in which case it isn’t random, either.

The media just can’t stop using “random” when dealing with black criminality. Even when the assailant and victim have an ongoing relationship, they assure us that their first meeting was at “random” so race couldn’t possibly be a factor.

LA replies:

I was thinking of saying something about that “random,” but my brain fused out. Why would they even think of describing his initial come-on to her as “random”? But I think you’ve figured it out. Normally it’s the criminal act which is described as “random.” But here the criminal behavior was preceded by a voluntary social acquaintance initiated by the black man. Therefore his first approach to her had to be called “random,” in order to erase the reality that even when he first approached her, he was already stalking her.

James P. writes:

His approach to the art researcher certainly was not random. The NYT in its August 9 article on the story says he did not approach women randomly but as part of a deliberate pattern, namely, he approached attractive white women, praised them, and tried to convince them that he was a sophisticated world traveler and journalist:

But the pattern of behavior described by about 10 women—including a prosecutor and a newspaper dating columnist—who responded was anything but routine. In the women’s accounts to prosecutors, a consistent narrative emerged: Mr. Akassy, 42, often would approach women in places like art museums and high-end shopping areas, [JP: i.e., he deliberately targets white, well-to-do, naive liberals, not just random women] according to the authorities. He would praise them for their beauty, and describe his credentials as the host of an international affairs television program that landed interviews with world leaders like Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela.

James P. continues

By the way, the same reporter wrote both stories — John Eligon!

LA replies:

Good catch. Someone should call John Eligon at the Times and ask him how, having described in his August 9 article Akassy’s deliberate pattern of approaching and then sexually assaulting and raping women, he then, in his October 24 article, described Akassy’s approach to the art researcher as “random.”

Sage McLaughlin writes:

Incredible. I just read your reply to Tim W. which says,

Therefore his first approach to her had to be called ”random,” in order to erase the reality that even when he first approached her, he was already stalking her.

I never would have thought to look closer at the headline, “Telling Court of a New Friend Turned Stalker,” but your and Tim W.’s comments bring out just how mendacious it is—he was just “a new friend,” who at some indefinite time turned into a stalker.

As you point out, he was stalking her from the very beginning, as the story itself makes plain. But liberal squeamishness induces the NYT to obscure that fact. They simply cannot acknowledge that a white woman had been targeted by a black man for harassment, so their encounter becomes a “random” event and their “new friendship” is treated as genuine, and something that became menacing for no reason at all.

A tangent:

I often meet young, liberal, college-educated people living here in the Washington, DC area. It has only recently begun to sink in how thoroughly seeped they are in their liberalism as a consequence of propagandistic coverage like this Times article. They almost never admit their liberalism—they all think of themselves as “moderates,” because liberalism is simply the air they breathe. It’s an extremely dispiriting state of affairs, and it’s little wonder so few people are ever able to snap out of it. Within the last ten years I would never have questioned liberal lies about race. To do so requires a rejection (or at least a wearisome filtering) of practically everything our society produces for us to watch and to read, and this is a difficult, unnatural process.

Besides, no one who is of a mind to read for pleasure, or who enjoys movies and television, wants the joy taken in those things to be completely stripped away. That’s been the price I’ve paid for acknowledging the truth, and I don’t think even traditionalists have adequately noted the role this plays in keeping people locked into liberal habits of mind. To reject liberalism is to cut oneself off from the intellectual life of his country, and to find nearly all its works of art and popular entertainment appalling. Nobody wants to live that way. It not only costs a person socially and professionally, but it costs him even the simple joys of reading a newspaper or watching a movie, free from propagandistic attacks on ordinary truth and decency.

As I said, dispiriting.

LA replies:

It also costs a person social standing, friendships, relationships, etc.

Alexis Zarkov writes:

Mr. Auster writes, “The media just can’t stop using ‘random’ when dealing with black criminality.” True. But their use of the word “random” goes beyond black criminality. I had a conversation with a reporter, and we talked about his use of “random” in his articles, especially with respect to reporting crimes of any kind. A picture emerged from our conversation. Reporters will classify almost any encounter between people who don’t know one another as “random.” [LA replies: You’re right, and I’ve made this point numerous times myself. But so much of the crime that is reported is black-on-white crime that it’s easy to lose the point that the police do this with all stranger-on-stranger crime. Remember also that black-on-white crime almost always involves stranger-on-stranger and therefore will be called “random,” while black-on-black crime is much more likely to involve people who know each other, and therefore is not called random.] If a street thug targets someone for a robbery, the press will report the robbery as random because the robber was not personally acquainted with his victim. In other contexts reporters will use “random” for something they can’t readily classify. In other words, “random” is a catch-all phrase. Often the reporters will make a crime look motiveless, or even accidental, by describing it as random, thereby draining the crime of any moral significance. In the world of liberal reporters people don’t make moral choices between good and evil. Things just happen. Thus if a robber kills his victim; it will get reported as a “robbery gone wrong” as if the killer were a helpless pawn of forces outside himself—a “random” force. In my opinion, the press has a much bigger agenda than merely protecting America’s black criminal underclass from judgment. They want to deprecate or even eliminate human volition. Yet another by product of Cultural Marxism.

Sage McLaughlin writes:

Don’t you think the phrase “the product of unruly circumstances” is just a bureaucrat’s way of saying “random?”

I agree, it’s an amazing, bizarre thing for any person to say, and Matthew H. is right to question the sanity of the person who would say it. As Jim Kalb once described it, political correctness is a form of institutionalized insanity.

LA replies:

Don’t you think the phrase “the product of unruly circumstances” is just a bureaucrat’s way of saying “random?”

Yes, but I think it’s more than that. It seems closer to Clarence Darrow’s defense of Leopold and Loeb: man is not a rational being who makes choices and is responsible for them, but a plaything of social forces.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 25, 2011 01:21 PM | Send

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