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High-profile criminal justice reform advocate charged with raping woman at Midtown Manhattan hotel

High-profile criminal justice reform advocate Adam Foss has been indicted on charges of raping a 25-year-old woman in a New York City hotel room while she was asleep, District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced Tuesday.

Foss, 42, a former Massachusetts prosecutor who garnered national attention with a 2016 TED Talk on criminal justice reform, texted and called the woman he met at a conference for about a month before the two spent the night together in a hotel in Midtown Manhattan in 2017.

The woman repeatedly refused Foss’s advances, but said he raped her after she fell asleep, Manhattan prosecutors allege. She later came forward with the allegations that prompted an investigation.

“I thank this brave survivor, who had the courage to come forward and share her story,” Bragg said in a written statement on Tuesday.

“Our Special Victims Division focuses on survivors and is aware of trauma, and we encourage anyone who believes they have been the victim of a sex crime to call our Hotline at 212-335-9373. Our prosecutors, detectives and service providers are at your service.’

Foss, who is now a Los Angeles resident, was indicted in the Manhattan Supreme Court on Tuesday on charges of first-degree rape and sexual assault.

Adam Foss, 42, will face the Manhattan Supreme Court on Tuesday for raping a woman while she was sleeping in a hotel room in Midtown Manhattan in October 2017.

Adam Foss, 42, will face the Manhattan Supreme Court on Tuesday for raping a woman while she was sleeping in a hotel room in Midtown Manhattan in October 2017.

Foss, a former Massachusetts district attorney, now lives in Los Angeles and was charged Tuesday in the Manhattan Supreme Court with rape and first-degree sexual assault.

Foss, a former Massachusetts district attorney, now lives in Los Angeles and was charged Tuesday in the Manhattan Supreme Court with rape and first-degree sexual assault.

Foss, a former Massachusetts district attorney, now lives in Los Angeles and was charged Tuesday in the Manhattan Supreme Court with rape and first-degree sexual assault.

Allegations of wrongdoing against Foss came to light in 2020, when a writer and singer published a blog post accusing Foss of raping her after the two met at a conference.

In the blog post, the author describes meeting Foss, their exchange of texts and phone calls, and multiple encounters, including one night she woke up with Foss having sex with her in a midtown Manhattan hotel room.

Her position led Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins to launch an independent investigation into Foss’ conduct during his time as a prosecutor.

But the report concluded that while Foss exhibited “disturbing” behavior among young interns, it did not rise to criminal levels.

The New York indictment on Tuesday marks the first time Foss has been charged with criminal charges for his alleged misconduct, Insider reported.

The blog post’s author declined to comment on the charges Tuesday.

A blog post published by a potential prosecutor prompted Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins to launch an independent investigation into Foss' conduct during his time as a prosecutor (Foss pictured in 2018)

A blog post published by a potential prosecutor prompted Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins to launch an independent investigation into Foss' conduct during his time as a prosecutor (Foss pictured in 2018)

A blog post published by a potential prosecutor prompted Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins to launch an independent investigation into Foss’ conduct during his time as a prosecutor (Foss pictured in 2018)

The New York indictment on Tuesday marks the first time Foss has been charged with criminal charges for his alleged misconduct (Foss in 2016)

The New York indictment on Tuesday marks the first time Foss has been charged with criminal charges for his alleged misconduct (Foss in 2016)

The New York indictment on Tuesday marks the first time Foss has been charged with criminal charges for his alleged misconduct (Foss in 2016)

Foss gained national attention with his 2016 TED Talk on criminal justice reform, which has been viewed more than 2 million times.

He even caught the attention of singer John Legend in 2015, when Legend and his organization Free America worked on an awareness campaign about criminal prosecutors.

In the blog post that sparked the allegations, the survivor who described her alleged rape said that Foss had mentioned John Legend when they first met.

He radiated charisma. I’d never heard of him, but a quick google told me he was Adam John Foss, an ex-prosecutor whose 2016 TED Talk had been viewed more than 2 million times. He had worked with John Legend,” the author wrote. “Cool, I thought.”

Foss founded the nonprofit Prosecutor Impact in 2016 with the mission of “improving community security in the United States through a better understanding of the most important actor in the criminal justice system: the criminal court.”

As part of the campaign, John Legend used his significantly extended reach to shed light on “progressive accusers,” including Adam Foss.

But after news of the allegations, singer John Legend took to social media to apologize to Adam Foss’ alleged sexual assault victims.

He issued a mea culpa in 2015 for “elevating” Foss.

“In 2015, we (my organization @freeamerica, @tystiklorius and I) took Adam John Foss and the concept of progressive prosecutors to the next level,” Legend wrote in a series of tweets. “I heard later that he was using his platform to harm women.”

Mea culpa: John Legend apologized in 2021 to alleged victims of sexual assault from former Massachusetts prosecutor who became criminal justice reform advocate Adam Foss (pictured in July 2020)

Mea culpa: John Legend apologized in 2021 to alleged victims of sexual assault from former Massachusetts prosecutor who became criminal justice reform advocate Adam Foss (pictured in July 2020)

Background: Adam Foss and John Legend collaborated on criminal justice reform in 2015 (Foss pictured in 2018)

Background: Adam Foss and John Legend collaborated on criminal justice reform in 2015 (Foss pictured in 2018)

Mea culpa: John Legend (left) apologized in 2021 to alleged victims of sexual assault from former Massachusetts prosecutor who became criminal defense advocate Adam Foss (right)

“He used my name and association to gain credibility, and while we are committed to a world where people’s lives are not defined by their mistakes, it is unacceptable to use your power and influence to harm women,” he continued. the singer songwriter. : “We’re sorry for all the women he hurt.”

Many of John’s followers on the platform responded with appreciation for not only apologizing, but also believing the women who made the sexual assault allegations.

1660739852 495 High profile criminal justice reform advocate charged with raping woman at

1660739852 495 High profile criminal justice reform advocate charged with raping woman at

Legend took to Twitter in 2021 to apologize for “elevating” Foss when Legend and his organization, Free America, were working on an awareness campaign about criminal prosecutors.

A stand-up guy: Many of John's followers on the platform responded with thanks for not only apologizing, but also believing the women who made the sexual assault allegations

A stand-up guy: Many of John's followers on the platform responded with thanks for not only apologizing, but also believing the women who made the sexual assault allegations

A stand-up guy: Many of John’s followers on the platform responded with thanks for not only apologizing, but also believing the women who made the sexual assault allegations

In response to the news that he was under investigation in 2021, Foss issued a statement at the time denying the charges, according to WBUR reporting.

“Some of my callous and insensitive behavior has scared many people, but I deny all allegations of non-consensual sexual relations,” he said in his statement.

“With regard to the recent statement by District Attorney Rachael Rollins referring to an ongoing investigation, I do not wish to jeopardize that process by commenting further. Moreover, this is a more appropriate time for me to listen than to speak,” he continued.

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