Most Harvard Women Don’t Report Groping Incidents

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A Harvard University janitor charged in a sexual assaults in Cambridge has admitted groping more than 120 women, authorities said yesterday during a seminar on combating street crime. Only five of Geremias Cruz Ramos’s alleged victims reported the crime and police want to know why, says the Boston Globe. In another case, police apprehended a male bicyclist who allegedly groped several women in the Harvard Square area. His build, clothing, and the antique bike he was riding matched exactly the women’s description of the suspect. Police were unable to arrest the suspect. “There is a reluctance among women to come in and identify him,” Police Commissioner Ronnie Watson said in a safety conference.

The seminar was designed to help reduce the risk to women from street crime at or near Harvard. Ramos has said that while at work, he would take off his uniform shirt, assault women, and then return to work to watch police scramble at the scene of the crime. “We realize this is a community issue,” said Rick Avery of Sercuritas Security Services, which sponsored the seminar. “We wanted to let people know that reporting a crime does not necessarily mean you will dragged into the prosecution of the crime. We just need you to report it.”

Some women are too afraid, embarrassed, or don’t believe that groping is a serious enough offense to report, said Harvard Police Chief Francis D. Riley. “Indecent assault is still a crime to us, and it could lead to rape,” Riley said. “We do take it seriously and we do not try to discourage people from taking these things seriously.”

Link: http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2004/03/28/cambridge_police_se

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