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T-Mobile Won’t Release Brooklyn Rapist’s Contact Information — UPDATE

UPDATE, 2:40p.m.: Anti-street harassment group Hollaback! has announced that T-Mobile responded to the Change.org petition and provided the requested phone numbers to the NYPD. Thank you, T-Mobile, for doing the right thing. [Hollaback!]

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T-Mobile has the ability to provide police with the phone number for a rapist who sexually assaulted a 22-year-old woman inside a car in Brooklyn. But despite a police subpoena, T-Mobile has refused to hand over the phone number — which could possibly get this rapist off the streets — by claiming it would violate the “privacy” of their customers.

In the meantime, the rapist(s) (possibly looking like this or like this or like this) is still at large. An investigator for the NYPD told the Brooklyn Paper that two or three individuals may be involved. According to Change.org, where a petition started by Emily May of the anti-street harassment organization Hollaback! seeks to put pressure on T-Mobile, this ordeal began in July. A 22-year-old woman woke up inside a car with two men on top of her, not knowing how she got there. She had bruises on her body and a broken zipper; she screamed and the men let her out of the car, but took her phone.

Bizarrely, sometime thereafter, the woman’s partner received a call from a blocked phone number. The person calling apparently identified himself as the perpetrator, offering a vague apology for committing the sexual assault.

The victim went to the police about the sexual assault and the phone call and the NYPD subpoenaed T-Mobile. But T-Mobile has refused to provide the blocked number to investigators. The company said doing so would violate the “privacy” of the rapist(s).

Meanwhile, six sexual assaults have occurred in the same area of Brooklyn from that July incident until now — one woman was raped and the others fought off the attacker and escaped, according to The New York Daily News. (To those of you unfamiliar with safety in New York City, six sexual assaults in the same neighborhood in that short period of time is a lot.) In total, the Brooklyn Paper claims there has been nearly a dozen attacks of a similar nature. The NYPD assumes all or most of them are connected. Therefore, there is a very real connection between T-Mobile’s refusal to hand over the contact information of the perpetrator (i.e. impeding an investigation) and the fact that more women in Brooklyn were attacked.

One wonders whether if the situation were different — a terrorist planning to blow up an airplane, as opposed to a rapist — that T-Mobile would behave differently. While I have respect for the spirit of “privacy,” I personally believe in practice this insistence on respect for “privacy” for a rapist is doing more harm than good. Assisting in the investigation and possible capture of a rapist would be the way to act with integrity in the situation.

Readers can sign the Change.org petition here or contact T-Mobile directly themselves. Please let us know if you hear any response from T-Mobile on this issue.

[Change.org]
[NY Daily News]
[Gothamist: Brooklyn Rapist Strikes Again]
[Gothamist: Cops Release Third Sketch Of Brooklyn Rapist]
[Brooklyn Paper]

Want to contact the writer of this post? {encode=”jessica@thefrisky.com” title=”Email her”}!

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