D.A.: Former ‘Progressive’ Boston Prosecutor Charged with Raping Woman in Manhattan Hotel Room

Adam Foss speaks onstage during Global Citizen Week: At What Cost? at The Apollo Theater on September 23, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Global Citizen)
Noam Galai/Getty Images for Global Citizen

A former Suffolk County prosecutor and radical criminal justice activist, Adam Foss, 42, was indicted on charges of rape by a District Attorney’s Office of Manhattan on Tuesday.

Foss, who is from Los Angeles, is facing two first-degree charges of rape and sexual abuse that he allegedly committed against a 25-year-old woman in October 2017 in a Manhattan hotel room while she was sleeping.

Per the District Attorney’s Office press release:

According to court documents and statements made on the record in court, on October 21, 2017, FOSS, a former prosecutor and public speaker, met the 25-year-old survivor at a Midtown hotel after exchanging calls and texts for approximately one month. After the survivor repeatedly said no to FOSS’s sexual advances, the two fell asleep, before FOSS allegedly raped the woman as she slept.

“I thank this brave survivor, who had the courage to come forward and share her story,” said District Attorney Bragg via the Manhattan office’s statement.

In an extensive blog post published in 2020, Raegan Sealy accused Foss of raping her in a seemingly identical account and timeline to what the District Attorney’s office described.

However, the Manhattan office does not reveal the identities of victims and would not confirm whether Sealy was the victim, the New York Post reported.

Sealy described Foss as a “progressive, liberal, acclaimed social justice advocate” in her post.

Foss worked as a former prosecutor in the District Attorney’s Office of Suffolk County, Massachusetts, where Boston is located, from 2008 to 2016.

Foss is also a radical criminal justice reform activist, gaining national attention for a TED Talk he gave on the topic in 2016, which has been viewed over 2 million times. In the speech, Foss indicated his support for more leniency in sentencing criminals.

In the same year, the former prosecutor also started a non-profit organization, Prosecutor Impact, intending to train other prosecutors to engage in practices that would lower incarceration rates, the New York Times reported.

Foss also partnered with singer and Biden-supporter John Legend, who once praised the former prosecutor. Legend later denounced Foss in a series of tweets in 2021.

In light of the allegations made against him, an independent investigation commissioned by former Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins found that Foss did not commit any “criminal” activities while he worked in the district attorney’s office.

The investigation did find that Foss “engaged in concerning conduct with at least two female Office interns and students that violated informal SCDAO expectations and norms.” WBUR reported.

Robert C. Gottlieb, Foss’s attorney, claimed that the allegations were “consensual” and suggested that there was a racial motive in the accusations against Foss.

“The words, the accusations, the attacks on him reflect longstanding racial stereotypical attacks on a black man,” Gottlieb said via the Post.

Foss pleaded not guilty to the charges on Tuesday, ABC News reported.

You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.

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