On Monday, Therese Patricia Okoumou, the activist who scaled the Statue of Liberty on the Fourth of July in protest of the Trump administration’s family separation policy, was found guilty of several federal crimes stemming from her act of civil disobedience.
Okoumou, who was charged with trespassing, interfering with government agency functions, and disorderly conduct, now faces a potential sentence of up to 18 months. She will be sentenced on March 5.
“I wanted to send a strong statement that children do not belong in cages,” Okoumou said during her court appearance on Monday, according to the Guardian. When asked if she would climb the Statue of Liberty in protest again, she said yes. “Unfortunately, as long as our children are placed in cages, my moral values cause me to do something about it,” Okoumou responded.
Okoumou, who was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, immigrated to the United States in 1994, and is now a U.S. citizen. In an interview with Jezebel earlier this year, she described her reaction upon learning that families were being separated at the border. “I couldn’t live with the guilt—our country was imprisoning children, ripping tender-aged children from their mother. To me, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Okoumou told Jezebel.