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Serial Subway Sex Abuser Carried Out String of Attacks, DA Says

By DNAinfo Staff on July 12, 2011 8:43pm

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MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — A man accused of sexually assaulting three women on crowded Manhattan subway trains has been caught, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Darnell Hardware, 26, allegedly took advantage of the rush-hour trains to rub his groin up against three young women on on the 1, 4 and 5 trains in 2002 and 2005, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said his alleged victims, a 24-year-old, 22-year-old and a 17-year-old high school student, were trapped in the packed cars and helpless to escape because they could not move away from Hardware even as dozens of witnesses looked on.

"She could feel what was happening but would be powerless to move because of the crush of other passengers," Assistant District Attorney Melissa Mourges said as Hardware was arraigned in Manhattan Supreme Court Tuesday.

In each case, Hardware left semen on the women's clothing, prosecutors said, allowing investigators in the cold case unit of the Manhattan DA's office to match him to the attacks last month. Hardware had to submit his DNA swab after being convicted of a felony drug charge in the Bronx on June 20, prosecutors said.

Hardware, of the Bronx, was ordered held on $2,500 bail Monday. He is already being held in the Bronx on $2,500 bail while he awaits sentencing on that case.

Hardware's attorney could not immediately be reached for comment. He is due back in Manhattan Supreme Court on Sept. 19.