Elisa Lopez, 21, was riding a New York subway to her boyfriend’s house after a party. She fell asleep on the train, and what happened next was shocking. A man sexually assaulted the woman, molesting her while others on the train watched without interference. One bystander pulled out his cell phone camera and filmed the assault; however, never once did the man filming step in to help the woman. Two years later, Lopez is finally seeing justice, as the suspect has finally been arrested for the sexual assault on the New York subway.
WPIX reports that Elisa was riding the subway train in New York, when she fell asleep after a long night at a party. After she passed out on the train, a 43-year-old man sat next to her and began to caress her thigh. As the girl remained asleep, the man then put his hand up her skirt and molested her. All the while, other passengers on the train looked on without intervention. One man filmed the entire incident on his cell phone, as he sat directly across from the helpless girl as she was molested.
Elsa says she woke to a man grabbing her face and thigh, so she punched him hard in the face and fled the train. She says, at the time, she had no idea of everything that had happened to her, but knew she was violated. In an interview with Cosmopolitan Magazine, Elisa Lopez says that she saw the full scope of the disgusting assault when a friend sent her a link to a video on the “free porn section” of a gossip aggregation site.
“Then Monday morning [after the subway attack], a video of the assault appeared on the free porn section of a video and gossip aggregation site, with Lopez’s face visible; someone on the train had filmed it and put the video online. A few hours later, it was on the widely read New York City–focused website Gothamist. It eventually made its way to Gawker, and then to the TV news.”
After seeing the video, Lopez says she was in a state of disbelief,and couldn’t understand why no one stepped in to help her.
“The thing that haunted me the most was the realization that people could’ve helped me. But didn’t.”
The video was shown to the police, who opened an investigation into the crime. However, it would take two full years, even with the video, to arrest the man who sexually assaulted Lopez. On Thursday, March 19, 2015, 43-year-old Carlos Chuva was arrested. Chuva, from Queens, is being held and charged with first degree aggravated sexual abuse.
The man who uploaded the sexual assault video of Lopez has defended his actions, claiming he did more than the other 10 people on the subway that night. He says that he did not intervene because he didn’t know if the man had a gun or knife.
What do you think about the subway sexual assault? Does it surprise you that no one in the train stepped in to help the woman?