Founder of Day For Night festival speaks after sexual misconduct accusations
HOUSTON – Founder of the Day for Night Festival and publisher of Free Press Houston, Omar Afra, is denying allegations of sexual misconduct. The allegations came to light over the weekend and festival creditors moved to sever ties with Afra.
“It's disheartening that I've worked 15 years on a business or businesses and they can be thrown in the garbage this quickly over false allegations,” Afra told KPRC via phone.
Two women put their accusations on Facebook by posting affidavits. The women filed complaints with the police. Both women claim at the time of the alleged incidents Afra offered them employment.
One woman posted screen grabs of exchanges via text message between her and Afra. In the text, the woman told Afra she felt violated and afraid when he grabbed and kissed her.
“Attempting to kiss somebody and being rebuffed does not constitute sexual assault,” Afra said.
In the exchange with the woman, Afra apologized for the encounter. He insists he did not force a kiss.
“I genuinely felt like I shouldn't have made her uncomfortable,” Afra said.
A second woman claimed Afra groped her. He vehemently denies this second accusation.
“It wouldn't make sense to apologize to somebody who came on to me and I rebuffed,” Afra said.
Shortly after the allegations came to light, festival creditors severed ties with Afra. A petition on Change.org asks other organizations to follow suit. A forum on Google is also asking other women to come forward.
Afra claims the complaint filed with police was closed. KPRC contacted HPD and has not yet gotten an answer as to the status of the complaint. As soon as we do, we'll update our story.
We also reached out to the women making these accusations. One said the information she posted online stands as her comment. We have not yet received a response from the second woman.
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