Councilman Pushes for a “Wall of Shame” to Help Straphangers ID Sex Offenders

Written by Lyndsay McCabe  |  10. March 2013

Next time you ride the subway, you may find yourself surrounded by pictures of convicted sex offenders, which is all part of a city councilman’s plan to get images of criminals out in the open so straphangers know whom to avoid.

Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Queens) has openly voiced his concern for having sex offenders in tight public spaces where touching other people occurs wittingly or unwittingly, and now he wants the MTA to put up photographs of sex offenders to deter those people from using the subway system.

Vallone’s strategy will particularly target individuals arrested for groping, molestation, flashing, and grinding who prey on commuters in tightly packed subway cars.

The photographs of each sex offender would be posted at the station nearest to where they live and where they committed the crime.

“I think it’d be a great deterrent, [and] a great way to protect women,” said Vallone.

According to incident reports, most subway attacks in the city occur on the 4, 5, and 6 lines, and Vallone’s proposal will put faces to the names of the criminals who instigate the attacks.

It is MTA’s decision whether to go through with Vallone’s proposal.  According to the councilman, former MTA president Joe Lhota was in favor of the idea before he stepped down from the position to run for mayor.

For those who oppose the idea, questioning how sex offenders will be able to get to work without facing censure, Vallone has one thing to say:

“They should have thought of that before they embarked on a life of crime.”

He added, “My concern is for the safety of subway riders and not an easy commute for criminals. They can go buy a bike.”

The councilman will present his resolution for the “Wall of Shame” to the City Council on Monday.

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