New legislation to introduce tougher penalties for subway sexual predators

Photo courtesy of Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas

Subway perverts may now think twice before performing their lewd acts after a new law was enacted on Friday to punish offenders who grind up against women and/or masturbate in crowded trains, buses or subways. 

The bill was first introduced in the Assembly on Feb. 10 by Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas and in the Senate by Senator Marten Golden. Then on Sept. , Gov. Cuomo signed the bill into law.

Under current law, offenders who rub up against or ejaculate on another person on a bus, train or subway will be sentenced to 90 days of imprisonment or one year of probation for first offenses. The new bill raises the maximum sentence for first-time offenders to one year of imprisonment or three years of probation.

“I have been riding the subway my entire life and have seen my share of disgusting and objectionable behavior,” Simotas said in a statement. “The law must reflect that these crimes on public transportation are particularly egregious because riders are essentially captives of their attackers.”

According to an analysis reported by the Daily News, from July 2008 through July 2013 the Forest Hills/71st Ave. station had the most flashing incidents during that period with 97 reports, followed by the Kew Gardens/Union Turnpike station with 93 reported incidents.

Just last week, a suspect exposed himself on a Ditmars Boulevard-bound Q train. On Sept. 21, a 27-year-old female riding on the Q train, in the vicinity of 31st Street and 30th Avenue, saw the suspect exposing his penis and engaging in a lewd act, according to cops.

Three days before that incident, a man riding the N train stood behind a 35-year-old victim and rubbed his hand across her buttocks. When the victim confronted him, the suspect grabbed her behind again before fleeing the train at the Broadway and 31st Street station.

“New York has zero tolerance for predators who seek to use crowded buses, subways and trains to commit depraved crimes of opportunity,” Cuomo said. “Those who commit these despicable acts will be caught and, with this new law, will face very real consequences.”

The bill will officially be implemented on Nov. 1.

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