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Charges Against Alleged ‘Well-Dressed Groper’ Dropped

Karl Vanderwoude outside a Manhattan courthouse on Monday, May 7, 2012 (credit: CBS 2)

Karl Vanderwoude outside a Manhattan courthouse on Monday, May 7, 2012 (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Prosecutors have dropped the charges against Karl Vanderwoude, the 26-year-old man accused of being the so-called “well-dressed groper.”

WCBS 880′s Peter Haskell On The Story

Vanderwoude walked out of court Monday morning after a Manhattan criminal court judge dismissed all the charges against him.

He was originally accused of forcible touching, unlawful surveillance and sexual abuse in connection with a series of groping incidents in April.

“Finally this is behind me,” he said outside the courthouse. “I can move on with my life.”

Nabbed by a Crime Stoppers tip, Vanderwoude was arrested by police after being picked out of a lineup by two of the victims.

But Vanderwoude’s lawyers said he had an alibi that proved he did not commit the crimes. His attorneys mapped out email, eye-witness and surveillance video proof of his alibi.

“For one date that was charged, we were able to produce video footage of him at his own office in Manhattan and on the March 30 incident, we had his partners from work who were with him together, they had dinner and were together from about 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and that incident occurred at 7:30 p.m. at a different location,” said attorney John Tumelty.

“We’re very pleased that the DA came right out and said this is not the man who did this,” said attorney Douglas Burns.

The Bible study leader told CBS 2′s Chris Wragge that he was innocent last month and said that his life has been a nightmare since his arrest.

“I can certainly look you in the eyes and say that I have never groped a woman and I’m not responsible for any of these charges,” Vanderwoude said.

For now, Vanderwoude can return to life as he knew it before the headlines.

“I’m just focusing on getting my life back to normal,” he said. “Trying to disappear, go back to work and just be a normal citizen of New York.”

Vanderwoude is not planning any legal action at this time, according to his attorneys.

Police said there have been no new attacks in the “well-dressed groper” case. The search is still on for a suspect.

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