A judge dismissed photographs of a woman's butt in the case of alleged subway groper Darnell McGee. Judge Anthony Ferrara said the photographs and video footage found on McGee's cellphone of a victim he allegedly groped was essentially "illegal search without a warrant."
In July of last year, two undercover cops had seen McGee "pointing his phone at the rear ends of other female straphangers at the station" as well as grabbing at least one's butt. They first saw him at Union Square, followed him on a train to Grand Central, and then back on a train to Union Square where he was grabbing a woman's rear. The woman complained to the cops who arrested McGee.
When one of the officers took inventory of McGee's personal items, he looked at McGee's cell phone and found the photos and video. It turns out that it was the officer's first experience with cell phone evidence - that's some lesson. The prosecutors tried to argue that though it was a warrantless search, cell phone evidence would have been found later. McGee's Legal Aid attorney said, "You can't have the police just going into your things without a legal basis."
Judge Ferrara, however, did not agree with the defense's claim that the whole case should be thrown out, given that the two officers witnessed the groping. McGee is charged with third-degree sexual assault and forcible touching.