Last month, police arrested and charged a suspect who they believed was the "well-dressed groper" accused of attacking at least four women in Manhattan this year. Friends and family couldn't believe that 26-year-old Park Slope resident Karl Vanderwoude could be the perp—and now that his alibi has checked out, the DA is expected to drop all charges against him on Monday. “A lot of people say they didn’t do it. This is the real case,” said lawyer Douglas Burns.
According to his lawyer, prosecutors were sent security tapes and other evidence by Vanderwoude's employer, Madison Avenue private equity firm MVision, that showed he was at his Madison Ave. office sending emails just before 2 p.m. on Feb. 27th. That's the same time the "well-dressed groper" grabbed a 19-year-old woman’s buttocks at Second Avenue and E. 67th Street. Vanderwoude’s attorney also turned over a dinner receipt from Mario Batali’s West Village pizza and wine spot Otto on March 30th, where Vanderwoude says he ate with friends about 7:20 p.m. At that time, the groper allegedly reached under a 22-year-old woman’s skirt inside the subway station at Chambers and Church Streets.
Vanderwoude had been charged with forcible touching, sexual abuse and unlawful surveillance in two of the four groping incidents, including the one on March 30th. Vanderwoude had repeatedly denied his involvement in the case, telling the Post in an interview, “I didn’t do it. I wasn’t even in the vicinity of these incidents. It’s a case of mistaken identity.” Lawyer John Tumelty said prosecutors have now called for the case to be dismissed on Monday: “It’s quite disturbing for him. He’s a nice young man and we're hoping he can put his life back together."
Previously, the mother of the victim of that March 30th incident said her daughter was sure Vanderwoude was the attacker: “She said, ‘Mom, I knew it the second I walked in there,’” the mother said. Of course, if and when the charges are dropped against Vanderwoude, it will mean that the real "well-dressed groper" has been walking free this entire time.