Hugues-Denver Akassy
Mug Shot of Hugues-Denver Akassy

The man known as the Riverside Rapist has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. A self-proclaimed womanizer, the homeless Hugues-Denver Akassy had told his victims he was an international journalist before he raped them.

Akassy had claimed no wrong doing saying that he was framed. He said his actions toward woman were simply misunderstood.

I am[sic] kind of a bachelor life. I am not proud of it. I am a kind of womanizer, said Akassy to the judge, according to the New York Post. I never raped anyone and I'd like to make that clear. However, I would like to apologize for making poor judgment when it comes to women.

However, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Jill Konviser scoffed at these claims. She reprimanded Akassy calling him a sexual predator in court.

You are a rapist who does not appreciate the seriousness and the violence of the actions that you took in this particular case, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Jill Konviser said. This isn't a case simply of poor judgment, Mr. Akassy.

Akassy approached four victims with nefarious intetions, prosecuters said. In Feburary 2009, he approached one woman on the Upper West Side, later appearing at her apartment on two occassions. Akassy then allegedly screamed at the victim before sending her insulting e-mails. He treated a second victim in a similar way after she felt uncomfortable being with him. He allegedly stalked a third victim, an Italian art expert at an art gallery on Central Park West and raped a fourth victim, a Russian tourist from Riverside Park. He led the Russian woman to an isolated area in the park where he through her down and sexually assaulted her, prosecuters said.

The defendant refused to take no for an answer, said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance in a statement. He stalked these women obsessively and, when they refused his advances, he grew irate, harassing them over the phone, via e-mail, and in person. In one case, the jury found that his dangerous behavior escalated to rape, leaving his victim traumatized physically and emotionally. I commend the victims for bravely coming forward to seek justice.