Posted For: Carlos
A social justice advocate and former Boston prosecutor has been indicted for allegedly raping a woman at a New York City hotel, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.
Adam Foss, 42, of Los Angeles, was freed without bail at his arraignment in Manhattan Supreme Court, where he pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree rape and sexual abuse.
Judge Curtis Farber granted him supervised release at the request of prosecutors, with the condition that he surrender his passport, the DA’s office said.
Foss — a public speaker and founder of the social justice organization Prosecutor Impact — is accused of raping a 25-year-old woman while she slept in a room at a Midtown hotel on Oct. 21, 2017.
He and the victim had been calling and texting for a month prior to the date, when she repeatedly rebuffed his efforts to have sex before the two fell asleep, prosecutors said.
Foss, who’s given lectures on criminal justice reform for TED Talk, then allegedly took advantage of the woman as she slept and “was incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless,” the indictment alleges.
Singer Raegan Sealy in 2020 publicly accused Foss of raping her after the pair met at an event where she was performing and he was giving a speech. A spokesperson for the DA’s office said they couldn’t confirm whether the woman in the indictment was Sealy, as they don’t reveal victim identities.
In an essay on Medium, Sealy claimed she told Foss, “I’m not having sex with you tonight, you’re too drunk” before repeatedly telling him to stop as he continued to try to initiate the sexual encounter.
Finally, he relented, saying, “Fine. Night Raegan,” she wrote. But then in the middle of the night, Sealy claimed, she awoke to Foss having sex with her.
Foss’ lawyer Robert Gottlieb called the allegations “preposterous” and said the encounter was consensual.
“The complaining has numerous times made statements that reflect a consensual relationship that she wanted to continue even after the date that she alleges that a crime occurred,” Gottlieb said in court.
“There is evidence known to the prosecutors that even following the date at issue the complaining witness sent texts and was sexting with our client in the hopes of continuing a sexual relationship.”
Gottlieb also said that racial dynamics were at play, with his client being black and the alleged victim being white.
“The words, the accusations, the attacks on him reflect longstanding racial stereotypical attacks on a black man,” Gottlieb said.
Foss worked as an assistant district attorney in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, which covers Boston, between 2008 and 2016.
Last year, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins issued an apology to two women who interned in the office as students and with whom Foss was allegedly “unprofessional” and inappropriate.
The alleged conduct wasn’t found to be criminal, Rollins said.
“I thank this brave survivor, who had the courage to come forward and share her story,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in a statement announcing the indictment.