Statue of Liberty climber convicted in July 4 protest

NEW YORK (AP) — A woman who climbed the base of the Statue of Liberty on July 4 to protest the separation of families at the Mexican border has been convicted of misdemeanor charges.

Theresa Okoumou got choked up as she testified Monday before a federal magistrate judge at her trial. She said images from the border gave her nightmares. Judge Gabriel Gorenstein announced the verdict a short time later.

The prosecutor says Okoumou endangered herself, rescuers and thousands of Liberty Island visitors when she climbed to the feet of the statue. Authorities evacuated the island.

Okoumou testified that she couldn’t live with the sight of “children in cages” without bringing the issue to a wider audience.

The charges include trespassing and carry a potential penalty of up to 18 months in prison.

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