Courts: Subway perv free to ride rails

Sexual abuse on a crowded subway car should be a felony, some argue.

A man is back on the streets, and free to ride the subway, after he was convicted of masturbating on three young women during their morning commutes.

Darnell Hardware, 27, took advantage of the packed rush-hour crowds on New York City subway cars to rub himself against women who were unable to move due to the crowded train, said prosecutors with the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

He would ejaculate onto the women before fleeing the train car through closing doors.  His victims were 24, 22 and 17 years old.

Hardware was convicted of his crimes, but a Court of Appeals judges ruled last week that he will get three years of probation, plus one year of jail time already served. That’s because Hardware’s crimes were ruled misdemeanors, and not felonies.

A felony charge could bring up to seven years in prison.

Despite the DA’s pushes over the past decade to be able to charge so-called “subway grinders” as felons, the courts refused to allow it in Hardware’s case, because they say he did not use actual physical force against his victims.

The court’s decision is based on a ruling from a 2002 case where a court threw out felony charges against 300-pound Jason Mack, who was guilty of masturbating on a 14-year-old girl while she was riding the subway to school.

At that time, the court’s decision was based on a claim that the incident did not involve the threat of physical violence. Last year, state Sen. Bill Perkins introduced a bill to allow felony charges to be brought against offenders with two prior convictions. The bill passed in the Senate but was killed by the Assembly.

Subway incidents

Darnell Hardware’s victims were average New Yorkers on their way to work and school.
The first incident occurred at 8:15 a.m. on June 25, 2002, when Darnell Hardware attacked a woman on the uptown 4/5 between 14th and 42nd streets. She was 24 years old and on her way to work.
On June 1, 2005 at 6 p.m., Hardware attacked a 22-year-old EMT on her way home from work. She was on the uptown 1 train north of 96th Street.
His third victim was a 17-year-old girl on her way to school. She was on the uptown 4/5 train on December 9, 2005 at 7:30 a.m.


'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…


British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…


VIDEO: Police seek suspect in molotov cocktail attack…

Police released surveillance video on Wednesday in hopes of tracking down a man who threw a molotov cocktail inside a Brooklyn corner store.


City Council budget asks for 1,000 additional NYPD…

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito unveiled the City Council's budget priorities on Wednesday, including the extra cops for the NYPD at a cost of $94.3 million.


‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…


TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.


A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."


2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version


Giants 2014 regular season schedule

The Giants will play five prime-time games — against the Lions, Redskins, Eagles, Colts and Cowboys.


Jets 2014 regular season schedule

The Jets will play three prime-time games — against the Bears, Patriots and Dolphins — as well as a CBS national game in Week 2 at Green Bay.


Phil Jackson talked to Steve Kerr, pushes for…

Knicks president Phil Jackson spoke to the media for the first time since firing head coach Mike Woodson on Monday.


Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.


What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.


Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.


Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."