Freddie Johnson has been arrested 53 times for groping women on NYC subway trains. Now, he faces life in prison for his latest arrest, which came only two weeks after his release from prison.
This time, plainclothes officers recognized Freddie from police photos of repeat offenders. They followed him, while he groped a female passenger selected at random.
Gropers often attack in crowded areas, and almost always escape. Apparently, there is not a crossover of offenders that grope, and those that engage in rape or other serious sexual assault. According to a recent survey, 63 percent of respondents reported being sexually harassed in some way on the NYC subway.
Like graffiti — the negative impact of an anonymous grope seems less severe than other crimes; but both subway-prone crimes decrease the overall feeling of security in the community. Plus, unlike graffiti, which everyone sees, groping involves personal violation, not shared with all the other riders.
If Freddie Johnson is intent on re-offending, does New York have no choice but to lock him up forever? Or, should we spend tax money locking up more dangerous offenders, while suffering an occasional grope?