Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of DARNELL HARDWARE, 26, for three separate sexual abuse incidents that occurred on subways in Manhattan in 2002 and 2005. In each case, the defendant rubbed his penis against a woman in a crowded subway car, ejaculated on her, and fled the subway when the doors opened. Prosecutors presented evidence from the cases to a Grand Jury in 2006 and obtained “John Doe” indictments. Based on the defendant’s DNA profile in the New York State DNA databank, the indictments now charge HARDWARE with Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, Forcible Touching, and Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree.[1]

“This case represents a small but significant step towards ensuring the safety and protection of women on the subway,” said District Attorney Vance. “These are our wives and sisters, mothers and daughters, colleagues and friends, and they should not ride the subway in fear of being sexually assaulted. Forensic science and law enforcement together make New York a safer city.”

According to documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court, in each instance, the defendant entered a crowded subway train during rush hour, pressed his body against a female victim, and rubbed his penis on her. Because of the crowded subway car, the women were unable to move away from the defendant, who ejaculated on the women’s bodies and clothing, and then fled. The first incident took place on June 25, 2002, at approximately 8:15 a.m. on an uptown Lexington Avenue express train between 14th Street and 42nd street. The second incident took place on June 1, 2005, at approximately 6 p.m. on an uptown No. 1 train just north of 96th Street. The third incident took place on December 9, 2005, at approximately 7:30 a.m. on an uptown Lexington Avenue express train just below 86th Street. The victims were young women commuting to and from work or school.

Assistant District Attorney Melissa Mourges, Chief of the Forensic Science/Cold Case Unit, is handling the prosecution of this case. Special Victims Division Detective Alan Sandomir assisted in the investigation.

Defendant information:

Bronx, NY


Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, a class D felony, three counts
Forcible Touching, a class A misdemeanor, three counts
Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree, a class A misdemeanor, three counts

A class D felony is punishable by up to 7 years in prison and a class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail.

[1] The charges contained in the indictments are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.