There’s good news and bad news…
The good news: a man falsely accused of being a serial pervert was vindicated in a Manhattan criminal court this morning. The bad news: the real pervert is still out there and is free to continue groping unsuspecting women.
Charges against Karl Vanderwoude, 26, were dropped this morning after the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office determined it had the wrong man.
Vanderwoude was accused of multiple gropings in Manhattan over the past several months. He was arrested at his Park Slope apartment last month and has maintained his innocence ever since.
According to the D.A.’s Office, Vanderwoude — who works as a staffer at
a private equity firm in Manhattan — first found himself on the cops’
radar after an anonymous tipster called Crime Stoppers after seeing
video surveillance of the groper on TV. The tipster gave police
Vanderwoude’s name, phone number, address, and even told them where he
went to college and where he worked.
After he was picked up on April 13, Vanderwoude was identified by two of
three victims who participated in a photo lineup. The third victim, the
D.A.’s Office says, made no identification.
Following his arrest, the D.A.’s Office continued its investigation to
corroborate the charges against Vanderwoude. However, after obtaining
video surveillance footage from multiple locations on multiple
dates, including Vanderwoude’s office, email records, transaction records from
banks, credit card companies, and vendors, and several
other sources of information, it was determined that Vanderwoude had
alibis for several of the gropings — in one case he was out to dinner
with a colleague. In another, video surveillance showed he was at his
The D.A.’s Office concluded that Vanderwoude is not the person responsible for the gropings and had the charges dismissed this morning.
So, there you have it: Karl Vanderwoude’s an innocent man — and the
real groper’s still out there (the Manhattan D.A., however, tells the
Voice it’s unclear whether there have been any other similar groping
incidents reported since Vanderwoude’s arrest).
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 7, 2012