Man arrested for sexually assaulting woman at OccupySTL encampment

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KMOV.com

Posted on November 18, 2011 at 3:03 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 23 at 1:30 PM

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- A 20-year-old woman participating in the OccupySTL protest reported to police that a man sexually assaulted her while she was in her tent on November 8, three days before tents were removed by the city.  A St. Louis City police officer says the mayor could have prevented it.

Brian E. King, 38, was charged with first degree sexual misconduct after police said he crawled into the victim's tent and touched her breast.  The assault happened on November 8 at the encampment that used to be set up in Kiener Plaza.

A blogger from St. Louis posted a video of St. Louis Police Sgt. Gary Wiegert talking about how the mayor could have prevented the attack.  In the video, Wieger says, "I believe if the mayor would allow the police department to do its job and take care of this problem and not allow these tents to be set up, this sexual assault wouldn't have happened. This is what happens when politics gets involved with police work."

Wiegert says he is speaking for himself, not the St. Louis Police Department. Wiegert is a former head of the St. Louis Police Officer’s Association. Today, he is a registered lobbyist for the Tea Party and an outspoken opponent of local control.

Police Chief Dan Isom declined a request for an interview on the allegations.

The mayor’s chief of staff says that Wiegert’s accusations are all about politics, and the staff points out that St. Louis did not have problems like other cities.

Occupy member John Mills says that crimes happened before the occupation, and the perpetrator in this case was not a regular participant. He does not think it should reflect on their movement.

The full video is available for viewing below.

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