Accused 'Well-Dressed Groper' Denies Allegations, Report Says
MANHATTAN — The man accused of groping two women in Manhattan broke his silence to deny the accusations in his first interview since his arrest, according to a published report Sunday.
Karl Vanderwoude, 26, the leader of a Bible study group and an investment banker, called the allegations that he was the well-dressed man who groped two women "a case of mistaken identity," the New York Post said.
"I didn't do it," he said, according to the paper. "I wasn't even in the vicinity of these incidents."
Vanderwoude, of Brooklyn, is accused of grabbing a 19-year-old woman's buttocks on Second Avenue and East 67th Street on Feb. 27.
He also allegedly grabbed a 22-year-old woman in the subway station at Centre and Chambers streets on March 30, touched her buttocks and filmed under her skirt.
There were four attacks in the pattern, but Vanderwoude was only charged with two.
Those close to the suspect, who was born in Michigan and attended Palm Beach Atlantic University, a Christian college in Florida, have maintained that police have the wrong suspect.
Vanderwoude said that he was shocked when police came to the door of his apartment and said they believed he was the man wanted for the gropings.
"I said, 'It's not me, I don't know this person," he said, according to The Post.
But he was picked out of a lineup in one of the cases, the paper said, and booked. The case then exploded into the spotlight.
"It felt like a movie," he said, according to the paper. "I absolutely never thought I'd be handcuffed in my life."
According to the report, Vanderwoude's employer, MVision Private Equity Advisers, has surveillance footage and emails showing that give him an alibi.
"I hope the police find the person that they are looking for," he said, according to the Post.