Toronto man charged after subway sexual assault

Last month around 5 p.m., a man tried to start a conversation with a 28-year-old woman when she boarded a TTC subway train at Coxwell station, in Toronto.

From The Star.com:

“The man reached out and sexually assaulted the woman after failed attempts to engage her in conversation, she told police. Both the man and the complainant exited at Kennedy station, where the man was last seen heading toward the bus platform area. Officers investigating the incident issued an arrest warrant for Omar Matthews, 25, on July 30. Yesterday, Matthews turned himself in to police. He faces one charge of sexual assault and three counts of fail to comply with probation.”

And there are people who wonder why women worry about talking to strange men! Or even not talking to them! Quite a lot of women say they ignore the harassing men and recommend other women ignore men as a method for getting away safely and without a scene, yet that doesn’t always work, as this incident illustrates. She did ignore him and he escalated his actions to sexual assault. It’s scary to think there is no way to respond that guarantees safety or dignity.

I’m glad she reported him though and that the police took it seriously. I encourage everyone else to do so too if they are similarly harassed or assaulted.

3 Responses to Toronto man charged after subway sexual assault

  1. Yes, I agree, we must report and try to stay safe, but what to do, is so hard, and how are you to know it will happen on a subway car? you can avoid dark streets and isolated places, but we must commute, we must get from point a to b. This is very discouraging. But as you say good that this particular man got caught. Now if the thousands of others like him could be stopped….and we could walk at night, and run in the woods, and oh, wouldn’t it be nice…..

  2. TS says:

    Today I took the subway in the middle of the afternoon to go run some errands. I was inside of the train at Yonge and Eglinton station when a man standing beside me touched my upper part and whispered something in my ear. I got scared and I pushing him off…and move towards the people. The subway was stopped for few minutes at that station, when it happened. So the Man got off the subway and disappeared. I thought nothing wrong of it… Just that maybe he wanted to flirt.. but then I saw him bug another lady on the Platform. That is when I decided to report him to the Authorities… Thinking that he might escalate his intentions and do something even worse to someone else or someone weaker like a kid. Or attack in the middle of the night. Who knows!! This happened in the middle of the afternoon!! With lots of people around… who know what he is capable of doing when there is no one around.

    I am very satisfied with how police and the TTC Authorities handle the harassment. They made me feel confident that I made the right decision. I actually feel happy to live in a place like Toronto. I feel safe because Police are really looking out for you….

    So I encourage everyone who might been in a similar situation to SPEAK UP!!! You don’t lose anything and can save other people!

  3. […] up – you can save other people [Editor's note: The following was posted in a comment on another story and I think it deserves its own […]

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