Karl Vanderwoude, Falsely Accused Serial Groper, Vindicated. Cops Had The Wrong Man
|This is the Manhattan serial groper. This is NOT Karl Vanderwoude.|
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 office.
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).