A serial groper with past convictions for groping women on Los Angeles area public transit was convicted anew for similar attacks against women. He will be required to register as a sex offender for life and to stay away from Metro facilities.
26-year-old Ager Linder entered a plea of no contest to two counts of sexual battery and two counts of battery against a transit passenger for incidents that targeted four female victims from the period of July to December 2017. Worse, one of Linder victims is a minor.
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced the conviction on Friday, saying Linder was sentenced to 450 days in jail, 36 months of probation, and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration.
Linder is also required to complete a yearlong sex offender treatment program and must stay away from all Metro trains and stations at less 100 yards away.
Linder is accused of approaching his victims and grabbing their breasts, buttocks or other body parts. He was accused in December of pinning a victim against the train’s wall and grabbing her buttocks. The victim was able to get away to alert the authorities.
Linder’s past convictions include incidents on buses in Culver City, Norwalk, and West L.A., as well as the Blue Liner in Long Beach. He even grabbed a woman’s buttocks and vagina in an incident in the West L.A.
The serial groper had not been previously required to register as a sex offender.
Feuer also said the safety and security of commuters is a top priority. He said: “People should be able to use our transit system without troubling and frightening harassment, abuse or worse. Public transit is essential to the future of our city, and we must do all we can to ensure our mom, kids-everyone-can ride without fear.”
Metro has been suffering from declining ridership lately. A 2016 survey found out that some 29 percent of former passengers told Metro they stopped taking the public transit because they felt unsafe.
Even LA City Councilwoman Nury Martinez said this week that she doesn’t feel comfortable taking her 8-year-old daughter on the Red Line. She welcomed, however, Linder’s conviction and said it was a step forward “in the fight against sexual harassment and assault on public transit.”
Metro said it is making an effort to step up security in the sprawling system.