WILLIAMSBURG — Freelance writer Kelsey Miller froze when it dawned on her last week that the man pressing up against her on a crowded L train was doing it intentionally.
At first it seemed like the unintentional crush of riders crammed together on the notoriously crowded train at rush hour when Miller, 33, hopped on at Bedford Avenue, weaseling her way in between straphangers at around 9:15 a.m. Wednesday morning.
But it soon became apparent that the physical contact was anything but innocent.
"He was thrusting his crotch against me and rubbing it on me," she said. "I could feel he was aroused."
The man began pressing his hips against her and made repeated and forceful gyrations, Miller said
Even when she tried to hip check the man away, he persisted, she said. She kept trying to wriggle away, but the man would move closer.
"I tried to scoot away and he would inch towards me again and continue doing it," she said.
As the train passed under the East River and the rubbing persisted, she was able to collect her wits after the initial shock and snap a couple of cellphone photos, which she later passed on to the police, who confirmed Miller's account.
"In that moment you're kind of frozen. A little bit on autopilot. It doesn't really occur to you to make a scene," she said. "I was really sort of paralyzed."
Later when she looked back at the pictures, she saw the man had been wagging his tongue, though she didn't realize while it was happening, Miller said.
Miller got off a stop later at Union Square and filed a police report, and she encourages other women to do the same. If you're riding the subway, wondering whether or not something is sexual harassment, it probably is, she said.
"Don’t question yourself," she said. "This is not something that's an icky-but-normal part of being a women in the world."
"It's a crime and will be treated as such."
Police said no one had been arrested for the incident as of Monday, though a spokesman said the investigation was ongoing.
Miller's attack came a day before a disturbing report of a man who peed on a woman's face as she was dozing on a J train Thursday morning.
Reports of subway sex crimes have increased 52 percent in a three year period, an uptick that's largely attributed to a MTA initiative that began in 2014 that easily allows straphangers to report unwanted sexual conduct and upload photos and videos.
Staten Island State Sen. Diane Savino, who released the report detailing the increase, has called for tougher sentences for gropers and introduced legislation that would make forcible touching a felony charge.