Beating Victim Chooses Public Humiliation For Male Assailant In Lieu Of Pressing Charges

| by Kathryn Schroeder

Alisha Hessler was beaten by Gabriel Urena, and she took a unique approach to punishing him.

Gabriel Urena was given the choice to either stand on a street corner for eight hours with a sign admitting his guilt, or face assault charges, Alisha told FOX 13 News.

Hessler told Tampa Police that Gabriel Urena came with her and two friends after a night of clubbing. She did not know Gabriel prior to the evening, and by the end of the night he tried groping her. She refused his advances, and when he would not stop she struck him.

"I did hit him first and then all of a sudden that's when he started beating me repeatedly, punching me," Hessler said to FOX 13 News

Alisha suffered a concussion and broken nose.

Alisha contacted the police the following morning and filed a police report. She received medical treatment at a nearby hospital and was released.  

Things got interesting when Alisha had a change of heart after seeing a post on Gabriel Urena's Facebook page, where he expressed remorse over the beating. He posted, "Lastnight (sic) was a wake-up call...I seriously need change," according to GAWKER.

Alisha then offered the alternative punishment, or shaming, as GAWKER and FOX 13 News are referring to it.

Gabriel Urena was to sit with a dunce cap near a busy intersection for eight hours holding a sign that read, "I beat women. Honk if I'm a scumbag."  

Alisha's decision to have Gabriel shame himself publicly instead of facing the courts has not been well-received by battered women advocate Mindy Murphy of The Spring of Tampa Bay.

"There's so many problems with this," Murphy told ABC Action News. "Women die every day at the hands of abusers. Sexual assaults occur every day. The fact that we've got a guy sitting in a dunce cap with a sign on the side of the road really is trivializing a serious issue."

Gabriel Urena did sit with a dunce cap for eight hours with the sign, and Alisha Hessler has not pressed charges against him. Tampa Police have tried to reach her but she refuses to return their calls.