Apparently crime of a sexual is not a big deal of a deal after all, at least not in New York or New Jersey. According to the authorities, Giovanni Verdelli was arrested for the 169th time after he groped a woman from Jersey City on the PATH train. Verdelli was arrested Monday morning when undercover Port Authority Police Department officers caught the 60-year old at the Grove Street Station in Jersey City. According to a spokesperson for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersy, Steve Coleman, the Brooklynite tried to flee them, attempting to jump aboard the 33rd st train to Manhattan.
Joe Brenneck and Brian Isaacs from the Port Authority Police Department were able to identify Verdelli from a cell phone photo taken by Verdelli’s 28-year-old victim. According to Coleman, Verdelli allegedly assaulted this woman (who was not identified) on June 30 and then again on July 3rd. When Verdelli was arrested, he was wearing the same clothes that the woman had captured him wearing on the cell phone photo. Coleman said that at the time of his arrest Verdelli was carrying marijuana. Verdelli was ordered to be held at the Hudson County Correctional Center in lieu of a $20,000 dollar bail. He was charged with two counts of criminal sexual contact. These fourth degree offenses could land up in jail for a maximum of three years.
According to the authorities, most of Verdelli’s prior charges (stretching all the way back to the 1970s) were not of a sexual nature — most of them. Verdelli pleaded guilty to theft of services after jumping over an MTA turnstile. He then served 10 days in jail. Even though his behaviors are criminal and a nuisance, Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio says, ”In New Jersey you cannot get an extended term on a disorderly persons conviction. And in New York it’s the same, you cannot get an extended term on a misdemeanor conviction.”
DeFazio says that his office will ask for a longer sentence this time to isolate Verdelli from society for a while. They will be in contact with New York City Prosecutors about the arrest on Monday. If Verdelli is convicted on these groping charges, he will then receive an additional violation on his status as a sex offender.
You might expect that a man who has been arrested 169 times would eventually end up in prison for a decent period of time. But that’s not the case with this guy. Let’s hope that he stays behind bars at least long enough for women to feel safe when they are riding the trains.