SUBWAY SEXUAL ASSAULTS

October 04, 2018 at 4:30 am

Sexual assaults on our subways are on the rise. New York State Sen. Diane Savino joins us to share the startling statistics and a plan to combat these crimes.

Aired on October 3, 2018.

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>>> GOOD EVENING,
AND WELCOME TO
METRO FOCUS.
I'M
RAPHAEL PI ROMAN.
RECENT NUMBERS
SHOWS SEX
ASSAULTS ON NEW
YORK CITY SUBWAYS
ARE ON THE RISE
FOR THE 4th YEAR
IN A ROW.
ACCORDING TO NYPD
STATISTICS,
POLICE RECEIVED
21,000 REPORTS IN
THE TRANSIT AND
9% FROM THE
PREVIOUS YEAR AND
THE NUMBER OF
INCIDENTS IN 2016
WERE UP 28%.
THE NYPD HAVE A
ATTRIBUTED --
ATTRIBUTED THOSE
RISING NUMBERS TO
VICTIMS CHOOSING
TO COME FORWARD
THANKS IN PART TO
A WEBSITE
LAUNCHED IN 2014.
SAFETY ADVOCATES
SAY MORE NEED TO
BE DONE TO
PREVENT THE
ASSAULTS FROM
HAPPENING IN THE
FIRST PLACE.
STATE SENATOR
DIANE SIVINA WHO
REPRESENTS STATEN
ISLAND -- SHE
JOINS US, SENATOR
WELCOME BACK TO
THE PROGRAM.
>> THANK YOU FOR
HAVING ME.
>> SENATOR, WHAT
ARE WE TALKING
ABOUT WHEN WE
TALK ABOUT SUBWAY
SEX CRIMES?
>> ANYONE WHO
HAVE RIDDEN THE
SUBWAY OR A
GENTLEMAN WHO
HAVE BEEN ON THE
SUBWAY HAVE SEX
CRIMES OCCURRING
FROM THOSE WHO
EXPOSE THEMSELVES
TO MASTURBATING
IN PUBLIC OR
SEEING SOMEONE
GROPE ON A
CROWDED SUBWAY
TRAIN AND POLICE
REFER TO THEM AS
SUBWAY GRINDERS.
THEY SIDE UP
BEHIND YOUNG
WOMEN AND
PRETENDING
THEY'RE HOLDING
TO THE BAR AND
THEY GRIND INTO
THEM FOR THEIR
PERVERTED
PLEASURE.
>> LAST YEAR,
YOUR HOUSE
RELEASED
COMPREHENSIVE
REPORT ON SUBWAY
SEX CRIMES
ENTITLED
PERVERTED
GRINDERS AND HOW
SUBWAY GRINDERS
VICTIMIZE NEW
YORKERS.
WHAT
DID THAT REPORT
FIND?
>> IN THE FIVE
YEAR PERIOD FROM
2012 AND 2017,
THEY HAD BEEN
3200 REPORTED
COMPLAINTS OF
SUBWAY SEXUAL
ASSAULT.
AND
AGAIN, THEY RUN
THE MONDAYED TO
FORCIBLE
TOUCHABLE.
WE
HAVE SEEN A
52% INCREASE IN
THE REPORT OF
SUBWAY SEX CRIMES
AND YOU MADE
REFERENCE TO THE
MTA'S COOPERATION
WITH THE NYPD AND
THOSE WHO WERE
TRYING TO CHANGE
THE POLICY.
THEY
CREATED A DATA
BASE WHERE YOU
COULD REPORT IT.
ONE OF THE THINGS
THAT HELPS US
NOW, CATCH SOME
OF THESE
PREDATORS AND
THEY ARE
PREDATORS IS THE
RISE OF CELL
PHONES, YOU KNOW.
WHEN I WAS A
YOUNG GIRL, I
DIDN'T HAVE A
CELL PHONE TO
TAKE PICTURES OF
SOME OF THE
HORRIBLE THINGS I
SAW ON THE TRAIN,
BUT PEOPLE NOW DO
AND THEY'RE
HELPING THE
POLICE ACTUALLY
CAPTURE SOME OF
THESE
INDIVIDUALS.
AND
HERE'S WHERE THE
REAL PROBLEM IS,
RAPHAEL.
MANY
HAVE BEEN
ARRESTED MULTIPLE
TILE FOR THE SAME
TYPE OF BEHAVIOR
BUT BECAUSE THE
PENALTIES ARE SO
MINUSCULE,
THERE'S NO
DETERRENT FOR
THEM NOT GOING ON
THE SUBWAY AND
PRACTICING THIS
BEHAVIOR.
WE
NEED TO INCREASE
THE PENALTIES AND
ELEVATE THE
CRIME.
>> WE'LL GET TO
THAT.
TO
CLARIFY, DO YOU
AGREE WITH THE
NYPD THAT THE
NUMBERS ARE
RISING NOT
BECAUSE THERE'S
MORE ACTS BUT
RATHER BECAUSE
MORE ACTS HAVE
BEEN REPORTED?
>> IT'S HARD TO
SAY.
WE'RE HAPPY
THAT PEOPLE ARE
REPORTING IT.
YEARS AGO PEOPLE
WOULD HAVE GONE
HOME AND BEEN
DISGUSTED ABOUT
IT BUT NOW
THEY'RE SEEING
THAT THE NYPD
WANTS PEOPLE TO
REPORT THE CRIME
AND SOMETHING
WILL BE DONE IF
YOU REPORT THE
CRIME, SO I THINK
IT'S A LITTLE BIT
OF WHICH CAME
FIRST, THE
CHICKEN OR EGG.
>> DO WE HAVE ANY
IDEA OR SENSE HOW
MANY CRIMES ARE
NOT REPORTED, THE
RATIO BETWEEN
THOSE REPORTED
AND NOT?
>> UNLESS YOU
HAVE BEEN
FORCIBLY TOUCHED
OR SOMEONE LEFT
THEIR DNA ON YOU,
YOU MAY LEAVE IT
AS RIDING THE
SUBWAY SYSTEM.
WHAT WE'RE SAYING
TO YOUNG WOMEN,
THIS IS NOT.
THIS ISN'T
SOMETHING YOU
SHOULD ENCOUNTER
AND ACCEPT AS
YOUR DAILY
COMMUTE.
>> YOU TALKED
ABOUT CELL PHONES
MAKE ARRESTS
EASIER.
ARE THE
ARRESTS GOING UP?
>> THEY ARE, BUT
THE CRIME IS
ALMOST -- IN MANY
TIMES IT'S A
MISDEMEANOR, SO
YOU'RE NOT
GETTING JUSTICE
AGAINST THESE
INDIVIDUALS AND
THEY'RE RETURNING
TO THE SUBWAY
SYSTEM AND
ENGAGING IN THE
SAME BEHAVIOR.
>> LET'S TALK
ABOUT YOUR
LEGISLATION.
WHAT WOULD THAT
LEGISLATION AND
WHAT SPECIFIC
WAYS WILL THE
PENALTIES GET
TOUGHER?
>> FIRST OF ALL,
THE LEGISLATION
-- AT THE REQUEST
OF THE NEW YORK
STATE COURT OF
APPEALS WHICH IS
OUR HIGHEST COURT
AND THEY FOUND IN
THE CASE CALLED
THE PEOPLE VERSES
MACK, THAT THERE
WAS AN INDIVIDUAL
OF 300 POUND MAN
WHO HAD ENGAGED
IN REPEATED
SEXUAL OFFENSES
ON SUBWAY AND HE
GOT AWAY WITH IT
FOR YEARS UNTIL
HIS DNA WAS
ENTERED INTO THE
DATA BASE.
THAT
MATCHED QUITE A
NUMBER OF
VICTIMS.
THERE
WAS YOUNG GIRL,
SHE WAS
16-YEAR-OLD, HE
GROUNDED UPON HER
ON THE TRAIN.
HE
LEFT BEHIND SEMEN
ON HER CLOTHES
BUT THE DISTRICT
ATTORNEY WANTED
TO PROSECUTE THIS
AS A SERIOUS SEX
CRIME, BUT THE
LAW DID NOT ALLOW
THAT TO HAPPEN.
IT WAS JUST A
MISDEMEANOR UNDER
THE LAW, SO THE
NEW YORK STATE
COURT OF APPEALS
SAID THE REMEDY
FOR THIS YOUNG
WOMAN AND
THOUSANDS OF
OTHER YOUNG
PEOPLE ON THE
SUBWAY IS THE
LEGISLATION NEEDS
TO ACT.
THEY
NEED TO ELEVATE
THE PENALTY, AND
INCREASE THE
CRIME TO REFLECT
OF SEVERITY OF
WHAT'S HAPPENING.
MY LAW WOULD TAKE
WHAT'S CONSIDERED
A MISDEMEANOR
WHICH A
MISDEMEANOR UNDER
THE LAW IF YOU
WERE CONVICTED,
THE MAXIMUM TIME
YOU COULD SPEND
IN JAIL IS ONE
YEAR AND A $1,000
FINE.
VERY FEW
PEOPLE ARE EVER
INCARCERATED FOR
THESE TYPES OF
OFFENSES.
IT
WOULD ELEVATE THE
PENALTY TO A
CLASS D FELONY
WHICH WOULD MAKE
IT 7 YEARS IN
JAIL AND UP TO A
$5,000 FINE.
>> WHAT'S THE
STATUS OF THE
LEGISLATION?
>> THE SENATE
PASSED THIS BILL
EVERY YEAR SINCE
I INTRODUCED IT
IN 2013 AND THE
NEW YORK STATE
ASSEMBLY REFUSED
TO TAKE THE BILL
UP.
>> WHY?
>> YOU HAVE TO
ASK THEM THAT.
>> WHAT DO THEY
SAY?
>> THEY DON'T
LIKE TO CREATE
NEW CRIMES.
AND
THEY THINK THAT
THE PENALTIES AS
THEY CURRENTLY
EXIST ARE
SUFFICIENT TO
DETER PEOPLE FROM
DOING THIS.
>> CLEARLY NOT.
>> CLEARLY
THEY'RE NOT.
>> THERE'S ONE
CRITIC WHO HAS
WRITTEN ABOUT
THIS, AND HE
SEEMS TO BELIEVE
THAT MAKING THE
PENALTIES TOUGHER
WOULD MAKE
INNOCENT PEOPLE
MORE LIABLE TO
GET ARRESTED
WRONGLY.
WHAT DO
YOU SAY TO THAT?
>> INNOCENT
PEOPLE DON'T
EXPOSE THEMSELVES
ON THE SUBWAY.
INNOCENT PEOPLE
DON'T EJACULATE
ON HIGH SCHOOL
GIRLS TRYING TO
GET TO SCHOOL.
INNOCENT PEOPLE
DON'T DO THOSE
THINGS SO I'M NOT
SURE WHO HE
THINKS IS GOING
TO GET CAUGHT UP
IN THIS, BUT I
DISAGREE WITH
HIM.
>> I DON'T KNOW
WHAT THE
CORRELATION WOULD
BE.
>> I DON'T KNOW.
AND SO DO THE
3200 VICTIMS.
>> ANYTHING ELSE
THAT CAN BE DONE
TO REDUCE THESE
NUMBER OF
INCIDENTS?
>> PUBLIC
AWARENESS HAS
HELPED.
AGAIN,
THE MTA --
THEY'RE RAISING
THE AWARENESS AND
LETTING PEOPLE
KNOW THIS IS NOT
ACCEPTABLE
BEHAVIOR, AND IF
YOU SEE IT, YOU
SHOULDN'T JUST
ASSUME THAT THIS
IS WHAT YOU HAVE
TO PUT UP ON THE
SUBWAY.
I THINK
THAT'S HELPING, I
THINK WE NEED TO
DO MORE OF THAT.
>> YOUR
LEGISLATION, THE
NEXT SESSION, DO
YOU THINK IT'S
GOING TO PASS?
>> IT WILL PASS
IN THE SENATE.
>> THAT'S ALL YOU
CAN SAY.
>> WE'LL HAVE TO
END IT THERE.
THANK YOU FOR
JOINING US TO
TALK ABOUT THIS
SERIOUS ISSUE.
>> THANK YOU,
RAPHAEL.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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