Tell New York: Subway Sexual Assault is a Serious Crime

  • by: Susan V
  • recipient: New York Court of Appeals

New York’s Court of Appeals decided earlier this year that those who ejaculate on subway passengers -- called “subway grinders" -- aren’t guilty of felonies unless they use force, reports Daily News.

Even when a 300-pound “grinder” assaulted a 14-year-old on a packed train in 2002, the judge decided “there was no proof the girl felt threatened with violence.”

Despite the fact that NY law rates first degree sexual abuse as a Class D Felony, courts are treating this crime, even by repeated offenders, as merely a misdemeanor.

The law also states that first-degree sexual abuse occurs “when the other person is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless.”

So how is a child or anyone else packed into a subway, unable to move away from a sexual offender, not considered to be “physically helpless?”

Join women and lawmakers demanding justice for the victims of these assaults. Tell New York courts that subway sexual assault is a serious crime.

We, the undersigned, join with women’s activists, lawmakers and others in demanding the courts take sexual assault on subways seriously.

Based on New York’s statute 130.00 “'Sexual contact' means any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person for the purpose of gratifying sexual desire of either party.” And it includes, specifically “the emission of ejaculate by the actor upon any part of the victim, clothed or unclothed.”

So we know this issue called “subway grinding” is defined by law as “Sexual contact.”

Additionally 130.65 says that “A person is guilty of sexual abuse in the first degree when he or she subjects another person to sexual contact: ….When the other person is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless….”

And we know that people on a packed subway often have nowhere to go to escape physical assault, making them “physically helpless” in such cases.

Statute 130.65 also says that “Sexual abuse in the first degree is a class D felony.”

Therefore these sexual crimes committed by “grinders” on the subway are felonies, not misdemeanors, as NY courts are treating them.

Furthermore, as in the recent case where a man was arrested more than once for this type of sexual assault, the courts have apparently ignored Statute 130.95, which deals with “Predatory sexual assault.” This involves a person who has engaged in a first degree “criminal sexual act….against one or more additional persons.”

Many need public transportation for life’s necessities, and no one should ever have to worry about being sexually assaulted while using such facilities. Nor should any victim of such crimes feel they must prove to anyone that they felt threatened with violence while they were being assaulted.

The Courts should enforce the law and consider these sexual assaults as serious crimes.

We request that you take these statutes and human rights into consideration and do what is needed to help end this abuse.

Thank you for your time.

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