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N.Y. police crack down on lewd subway riders

The New York Police Department launched a two-day subway sting, dubbed Operation Exposure, which caught 13 alleged flashers and gropers.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A police sting operation netted 13 suspected subway flashers and gropers, including some who allegedly touched undercover officers.

Authorities have only now announced the results of the two-day sting, called Operation Exposure, which was conducted in late May. But the crackdown is continuing.

It was launched after increased harassment complaints by female riders, New York Police Department Transit Bureau Chief James Hall said Thursday.

In a number of cases, women have dealt with the inappropriate behavior on their own, taking cell phone pictures of men they said had harassed them, and posting them on the Internet.

Thao Nguyen, a 23-year-old marketing director, snapped a photo of restaurateur Dan Hoyt exposing himself to her on a train. He was arrested and has been put on two years' probation and ordered into counseling.

In the May sting, both uniformed and plainclothes officers rode rush-hour trains and staked out platforms. The suspects, ranging in age from 21 to 58, were charged with crimes that included sexual abuse, forcible touching and public lewdness. In some cases, the men were accused of touching undercover police officers.

"It was part of ongoing efforts by the NYPD to make the subways as safe and hospitable as possible," said NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne. "We hope there'll also be deterrent value for potential perpetrators who recognize their 'victim' may be a police officer."