That's the lesson of the "well-dressed groper," a man who's suspected of grabbing several women on New York's Upper East Side, and who's described as "white, clean shaven, [and] neatly dressed."
DNA Info reports that the guy struck first on Feb. 25 at Park and E. 62nd, where he grabbed a woman's inner thigh and ran away. Two days later, he grabbed a different woman's butt at E. 67th and 2nd Ave. Both assaults took place in broad daylight, at 12:30 PM and 1:55 PM respectively. Police say the nattily dressed suspect is about 30, 5'11", and 180 pounds. In security video released by the NYPD, he appears to be talking on a cell phone.
The case of the well-dressed groper busts a number of stereotypes about sexual predators: that they attack only at night and only in poor neighborhoods; that they're unattractive men who can't get women to notice them; that they're never rich white guys. Law & Order: SVU, for all its faults, actually does a good job of challenging some of these myths: its perps are frequently powerful, good-looking white men. But the idea that all assaults are committed by certain kinds of men in certain kinds of places remains strong. The Upper East Side gropings are a reminder that telling women to stay away from "bad" neighborhoods at night isn't going to stop assault. To do that, we need to stop the perpetrators. And since gropers sometimes escalate to more serious crimes, let's hope the NYPD catches this one soon.