Sept. 29, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
Subway masturbators will face harsher sentences starting in November, now that a new law has been signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Currently, first-time offenders who subject another person to sexual contact on public transit can receive a maximum sentence of ninety days in prison or one year of probation.
The new legislation, which was introduced by Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, raises that sentence to one year imprisonment or three years’ 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.”
The legislation amends New York’s “forcible touching” law and applies to offenders who obscenely touch, rub up against or ejaculate on another passenger on public transit.
Subway masturbators have ridden through western Queens multiple times over the past several months alone, including alleged instances of groping, assault of a 12-year-old boy, and forcible grabbing of a woman’s buttocks.
The new penalties will take effect on Nov. 1.
Reach reporter Jackie Strawbridge at [email protected].