Serial Scooter Groper Charged with Sexual Assault

Two victims and a coworker have positively identified a man that they say groped them without their consent while riding by on a motorized scooter. The man now faces multiple accounts of aggravated battery, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, and criminal sexual assault. An image of the man had been circulated since August 6. The man was linked to four separate groping incidents, three of which occurred on August 4. The man allegedly groped the buttocks or genitals of women on the street before fleeing the scene. In at least one case, a victim said that there was sexual penetration. The case broke when an image of the man was distributed to the public. A former coworker was the one to identify the suspect.

The suspect has since admitted to groping the women because they were all “wearing something hot.” 

Why Did He Think This Was Okay Behavior?

In some European and Latin American countries, pinching or slapping pretty women on the butt is considered or was considered socially acceptable. At some point, however, modern people realized that this constituted a form of sexual assault, and in response, the cultural practice of butt slapping or pinching has fallen out of favor. Here in the United States, it is considered a crime. However, it would not be the first time that someone raised a cultural defense to sexual harassment claims. Andrew Cuomo claimed that kissing, hugging, and other expressions of physical affection were a part of his cultural heritage when he was accused of sexual harassment and eventually pushed out of office. 

In this case, the defendant is facing serious allegations, likely knew that the conduct would be offensive to the women he groped, and likely knew that he was committing a crime. But the charges contain an allegation that he placed his hand up a woman’s skirt and attempted to or succeeded in sexually penetrating her. That ensures that the defendant will be charged with a Class 1 felony, which is very serious. A Class 1 felony has a minimum sentence of four years and a maximum sentence of 15. If he is charged and convicted on this count, he will not only spend the next four years of his life in prison (at minimum) but he will also have to register as a sex offender.

Will a Cultural Defense Succeed in This Case?

The allegations go considerably beyond what is considered okay in 1950s Italy. Slapping or pinching a woman on the butt is considerably different than lifting their skirts to fondle them. Even if the cultural defense were believable, the defendant would have to overcome the fact that the law precludes that cultural practice in America. Illinois has recently increased the severity of sexual battery punishments, and an incident like this appears to justify that legislative choice. Regardless of the outcome, prosecutors are going to want this man’s name in the sex offender registry.

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Facing serious charges in Chicago? Call David Freidberg today at (312) 560-7100 and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.

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