Sexual Assaults On Youtube


Annie Abreu, Reporter

In October 2012 a video started going around of a man groping a woman on the 4 train while she was asleep. The video resurfaced again in late 2014 when Elisa Lopez started speaking out about what had happened to her. “I was in disbelief,” Lopez says recalling when she first saw the video. “This can’t be me. I felt sick to my stomach. I was yelling, screaming. I was hysterical.” In the video no one seems to be trying to help her.

The assaulter waves off the person recording the video multiple times. Lopez asks herself what I’m sure many others thought to themselves when seeing this video, why didn’t anyone step into help her. “I started crying, because I realized no one helped when this guy did something to me,” said Lopez in her first interview.

The recorder of the video Jasheem Smiley, earned public censure for capturing the assault on his phone instead of trying to stop it. Smiley posted a Youtube video defending himself saying he was concerned for his own safety, he didn’t know if the assaulter has a weapon on him or not. Smiley did however say that he kept trying to get Lopez to wake up, his attempts did not work due to the fact that Lopez had been out drinking with friends and was in a deep sleep.

After two years, the alleged molester, 43 year old Carlos Chuva was finally arrested March 19th 2015. There is no word from Chuva, but it is said that he is being charged with first-degree felony aggravated sexual assault.

As a young girl who takes the train every day, I am glad that a man like him is finally off the streets and behind bars where he belongs. Sexual assault and sexual harassment are both two issues that don’t get enough attention. Although the word sexual is in there, it doesn’t mean anything sexual has to happen. Sexual harassment can include, cat calling, sexual comments, inappropriate looks, and even gestures or facial expressions. It is also not limited to just girls although studies do show that 65% of woman get sexually harassed on the street daily, the percentage for men is only around 10%.

Girls and boys should be able to wear what they want and not have to cover up, because something like this might happen. To stay safe on the streets or public transportation- some options you have are:

– Walking with a friend.

– If you see a group of rowdy men/women who seem like trouble, cross the street.

– If you are being followed, find the nearest policemen or walk to a crowded area.

– Do not fall asleep on public transportation, especially if you’re alone.

– If you are out alone at night, try staying on the phone with someone.

– If you are going on the train late at night, stay in the wagon closest to the conductor. Do not go all the way to the back of the train!