Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Earlier this year, I sent you a description of the man who repeatedly rubbed his groin against me and other women, and you posted that description online. A WMATA transit police officer read the description and was able to catch the offender red-handed. He was arrested, and subsequently charged with assault in both incidents.
I can happily report that as of last Thursday, the offender has plead guilty to both charges, and now has two convictions on his record. For his crimes, he’s received a year of supervised probation, with 12 months of a suspended sentence (six months for each incident). He has also been banned from the Pentagon Metro Station for one year and will have to undergo both a mental health evaluation and a sex offender evaluation.
The WMATA detective I worked with during my case told me that there has been in increase in reporting these kinds of crimes since you published my account, and they’ve even caught one additional repeat offender. I am glad people are reporting this behavior. No one should be subjected to these kinds of assaults. I hope that the positive outcomes of my case will encourage Metro riders to continue to report crimes. The more often someone is reported, the more likely they are to be caught, especially if there is a clear pattern that develops through the different reports.
One thing that I would encourage people to do is to take a detailed description of the offender. Take pictures if you can, but look for things that set that person apart from anyone else and things that are likely not to change overnight. Complexion, tattoos, moles, hair color and cut, facial hair, glasses, eye shape, height, weight, build, things like that. Clothing helps, but it is likely that clothes will change the next day. Honestly, I got lucky that the man who assaulted me had a penchant for neon-hued track suits. Be as specific as you can, because every little detail will help the transit police to track the person down. Also, pre-program the WMATA transit police number in your phone- that way you won’t have to hunt for it in the moment; it’s 202-962-2121.
I hope that you will include an enormous collective thank you to the WMATA investigator and detective that worked my case. They went way above the call of duty in reading this blog on personal time and taking the initiative to act on the description, showing enormous compassion while taking my report and doing the photo lineup, and then following up with me and offering support during the entire criminal process. They are tremendous assets to the Metro community, and it is good to know that such dedicated people are out there working to make our transit system safer.
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