There’s some potentially tragic drama unfolding at “Occupy Cleveland,” as police are investigating a 19-year-old woman’s claim that she was raped inside of a tent on Saturday.
The teenager at the center of the scandal attends Summit Academy in Parma, Ohio — a school for young people who have Attention Deficit Disorder, Autism and hyperactivity, among other educational disabilities.
After she told a teacher about the incident, police were informed and an investigation commenced. Following the girl’s statements, she was also taken to an emergency room and a rape kit and examination were administered. WJW-TV has more:
She apparently alleges that “rally personnel” at Occupy Cleveland told her to share a tent with the suspect, as there was a shortage of sleeping space for the occupants. So, the girl got into the tent with a man (she claims his name is “Leland”) and went to sleep. Later, she says she woke up and the man was molesting her.
Erin McCardle, the spokesperson for the local movement, read an on-camera statement after she saw a police report that documented the purported occurrence. “This is a very serious allegation and we are cooperating with the Cleveland Police Department to find out what actually occurred,” she said.
Organizers of Occupy Cleveland claim that tent “assignments” are not made and that no one is familiar with the victim or the alleged perpetrator. McCardle made this fact clear in addressing the incident. “We do not tent people by direction. Everyone chooses who to tent with,” she said. “We provide the tents donated by the community.”
Organizer Rebecca Hawkins mirrored these statements. “We are a community group, we do not have leaders, we are a leaderless movement,” Hawkins said. “So your [tent] assignment would be your own choice of what you wanted to do.”
These allegations in Cleveland come at the same time that a convicted felon believed to be a part of the Occupy Seattle protests was arrested for having a shotgun in his bag (police do not believe he was a threat to anyone, though). While he was not accused of threatening anyone, felons are not allowed to possess firearms.
In a separate incident, Seattle police have arrested a man suspected of exposing himself numerous times to children at or around the protests.
The stories coming out of the Occupy movement keep on getting wilder.