ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York lawmakers have voted to establish the crime of improper touching or other sexual contact aboard the subway or other public transportation after an increasing amount of complaints from young women, 1010 WINS’ GARY Baumgarten reports.

The misdemeanor also applies to public buses or trains and carries a penalty of up to one year in prison.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie says crowded public transit is no excuse for inappropriate and unwarranted sexual contact.

Sponsors say the crime applies regardless of whether contact occurs directly or through clothing, and that it comes in response to incidents where offenders took advantage of crowded subway trains to press against young women who couldn’t move away in crowded cars.

“In what case would it be an accident,” said one subway-riding woman. “There’s no point when someone brushes up a woman’s butt and it’s accidental.”

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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