Perverts who get caught grinding or fondling strangers on crowded New York City subway trains could soon face misdemeanor charges.
State lawmakers passed legislation Thursday that would give police officers the power to charge suspects with misdemeanor forcible touching for making unwanted sexual contact for personal gratification. The bill now goes to the governor, who is expected to sign it.
“Grinding or ejaculating on a victim is a disgusting act that violates not only the individual but all of us who ride the subway,” Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, of Queens, the sponsor of the bill in her chamber, said on Facebook. “The law must reflect that these crimes on public transportation are particularly egregious because riders are essentially captives of their attackers.”
The MTA, which has spearheaded a campaign on the issue of sexual misconduct on public transit, supports the legislation.
A version of the bill introduced in the Senate by Sen. Martin Golden of Brooklyn not only seeks to protect subway passengers, but all riders regardless of type of public transportation.
The law is set to take effect on Nov. 1.