Groping is a crime.
Gropers are criminals.
That is too often forgotten in cases where the accused groper is a movie mogul or a Senate candidate or a talk show host or a TV showrunner or president or a famous comedian or some other kind of celebrated louse.
Everybody recognizes a crime as a crime in cases such as those involving a dirty half dozen street and subway gropers who have come to the attention of the NYPD in recent days.
The first of these dirty six was a perv in the 13th Precinct in Manhattan who was in the strictest sense more a grinder than a groper. The NYPD account reads:
“It was reported to the police that on Monday, September 25, 2017 at approximately 0800 hours, a 20-year-old female was onboard a northbound 6 train at 14th Street and Union Square when she felt an individual’s private parts rubbing on her buttocks as he was standing next to the victim. The victim moved away from the individual as he continued to move with her. The victim exited the train at 33rd Street subway station and the individual remained onboard.”
The victim thought to take a photo of the perv, who is described as “a male, Hispanic, medium complexion, approximately 35-years-old, with brown eyes, black hair and last seen wearing a dark blue with white stripes collar shirt and carrying a black bag.”
The second incident involved a classic groper in the same location. The NYPD account says:
“It was reported to the police that on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 1630 hours the victim, a 43-year old female was on the platform inside of the Union Square East and East 14 Street subway station waiting for the southbound ‘4’ train, when the individual approached her and grabbed her groin area. The individual fled the station to parts unknown.”
The NYPD also released a photo of this individual, who is described as a “male, Asian, 50-65 years of age, medium complexion, 5’8”, last seen wearing a t shirt, black hat, gray colored pants, dark colored shoes and had a cane.”
A third incident was on a moving subway train approaching the same station.
“It was reported to the police that on Monday, October 16, 2017 at 0930 hours the victim, a 31-year old female was aboard a crowded northbound ‘5’ train, when an individual grabbed her buttocks. When the train entered the 14 Street and Union Square subway station both the victim and individual exited the train. The individual fled the location to parts unknown.”
Here again, the police had a photo. The suspect is described as “a male, black 25-30 years of age, dark complexion, 5’8”, brown eyes, black hair, last seen wearing a maroon zip up hoodie, black shoes, white shirt and black jeans.”
A fourth incident was aboard a bus in the 66th Precinct in Brooklyn. The NYPD account:
“It was reported to police that on Thursday October 26, 2017, at approximately 1500 hours, inside of a moving southbound B9 bus, the individual grabbed the 22-year-old female victim’s buttocks as she stood up from her seat. The victim exited the bus and the individual moved to the back of the bus where he sat next to the second victim, a 17-year-old female. As the bus continued southbound, the individual placed his hand on the 17-year-old victim’s thigh. When she pushed his hand away and tried to get past him, the individual grabbed her buttocks. The individual got up from his seat after the victim yelled at him. The individual subsequently exited the bus.”
The NYPD also released video and a photo of this groper. The NYPD notes: “The individual is described as a male Hispanic, 5’2”, 150lbs, with a black backpack; last seen wearing a blue baseball cap with red lettering, a black jacket and blue jeans.”
A fifth incident occurred in the 109 Precinct in Queens. The NYPD account:
“On October 31, 2017 at 0530 hours a 47-year-old female was walking in the vicinity of Bowne Street and Roosevelt Avenue when the individual ran up behind her and grabbed her buttocks. The individual then fled into a nearby residential building.”
The NYPD has released a video and photo of the suspect and notes, “The individual is described as a Hispanic male who is approximately 20-30 years-old, 5’5” with short dark hair. He was last seen wearing a hooded jacket and shorts.”
A sixth incident took place in the 108 Precinct in Queens. This NYPD account:
“It was reported to the police that on Monday, November 6, 2017 at 1805 hours, the 21-year old female victim exited a southbound ‘7’ train at 52 Street and Roosevelt Avenue, walked down the stairs to the mezzanine area, when an individual grabbed her buttocks. When the victim turned to address the individual, he grabbed and pushed her about the breasts, before he fled the location to parts unknown. The victim refused medical attention at the scene.”
The accompanying description: “The individual is a male Hispanic, 30’s, medium complexion, muscular build, 6’0” tall, 200 lbs., brown eyes, bald. He was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, white sneakers and blue jeans.”
The grabbing and squeezing and rubbing described in the NYPD narratives is likely familiar to those who have been following the allegations against Harvey Weinstein and Roy Moore and Charlie Rose and Louis C.K. and President Trump and others.
And yet, prominent gropers are too often treated as if there were some kind of preemptive penile code that keeps men of their position from being subject to the penal code.
When Donald Trump said on the Access Hollywood tape that a star “you can do anything… whatever you want… grab ’em by the p---y,” he was not just engaging in locker room talk. He was essentially saying he had a special celebrity license to commit sex crimes.
And when Summer Zervos accused Trump of grabbing her breasts and grinding against her, she was accusing him of committing a sex crime. Had he just been some creep on the subway, she might well have gone to the cops, as did the victims of the dirty half dozen.
Back in 2015, one nice young woman did go directly to the police saying she had just been groped by Harvey Weinstein the movie mogul. The NYPD Special Victims Unit built a stronger case that is often brought against subway and street pervs, but the Manhattan District Attorney’s office suffered a loss of nerve and declined to prosecute.
The SVU is presently looking into another woman’s allegations that Weinstein raped her. He may very well end up behind bars, as the SVU can be counted upon to make it known if the district attorney again fails to step up.
But, until recent days, most of the prominent accused gropers have acted as if Trump were right, as if they really could do whatever they wanted. They groped with no apparent fear of being locked up the way the dirty half dozen will be if and when the NYPD catches up with them.
As of Tuesday, none of the six had yet been apprehended. Their photos are online for anybody who wants to keep an eye out for them.
Meanwhile, women who are groped in a boardroom or on a TV stage set or in a 5-star hotel might consider responding just as they would if a stranger grabbed them in the Union Square subway station.
Tell the cops.