2008_04_subwayarr.jpgThe serial sexual predator, who had been arrested 52 times (29 were for sexual offenses) and was arrested for a 53rd time on Wednesday after sexually assaulting a woman on the 6 train, was eligible to be legally institutionalized. However, a State Supreme Court Judge decided to parole him.

The state's attorney general argued for institutionalization under a new law to keep uncontrollable sex offenders off the streets. But Judge William Wetzel compromised by setting Freddie Johnson free on an intensely monitored lifetime parole, as the convict had already served the maximum sentence for his conviction as a persistent sexual abuser.

As part of his parole, police were notified of Johnson's release. Fifteen days later, undercover cops recognized the convict getting on a train at 28th St. in Manhattan and followed him. By 59th St., Johnson, wearing his required ankle bracelet monitor, was arrested for rubbing up against a Hunter College freshman on the crowded rush hour train. The Manhattan DA's office called him a "a recidivist transit grinder."

According to the Daily News, Johnson's 53rd arrest may be NYC's charm, landing him in jail for good. The News adds that Judge Wetzel is normally a hard-liner on sex-offenders.

Photograph of crowds at the Union Square subway station by susiejulie on Flickr