Bebeto Matthews/AP

Occupy Wall Street activist convicted of assaulting police officer

Cecily McMillan faces up to seven years in prison for elbowing a NYC policeman in the eye as he tried to arrest her

An Occupy Wall Street protester was found guilty on Monday of assaulting a police officer during a demonstration held two years ago to mark the protest movement's six-month anniversary in New York City.

A New York jury found Cecily McMillan, a 25-year-old graduate student, guilty of elbowing a police officer, Grantley Bovell, in the eye as he was attempting to arrest her. McMillan's lawyer argued that McMillan was reacting to someone groping one of her breasts, according to media accounts of the trial.

Assistant District Attorney Erin Choi mocked McMillan’s allegations of sexual assault, according to a report from the Village Voice newspaper, saying McMillan “might as well have said that aliens came that night and assaulted her.”

McMillan was ordered held without bail. Her sentencing is scheduled for May 19. She faces up to seven years in prison.

McMillan was arrested along with scores of others on March 17, 2012. While thousands of people were arrested during Occupy protests in 2011 and 2012, most of those cases were dismissed and some were resolved out of court. Only 67 cases have gone to trial.

McMillan is one of 56 people to be convicted at trial, while another 11 people have been acquitted.

Bovell suffered "swelling and bruising and substantial pain to his left eye" as a result of the incident, according to court documents.

The movement protesting economic inequality started in a downtown Manhattan park. Occupy, with its "We are the 99 percent" slogan, inspired dozens of spin-offs world but drew criticism for what some said were unclear goals.

Al Jazeera and wire services

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