York University professor accused of groping girl on the TTC
The subject of a now-viral social media post, in which a man is accused of sexually assaulting a sleeping teenager on the TTC, has been identified by dozens of Toronto residents in recent days as a professor at York University.
York is aware of the allegations against business administration professor Nicolae Stefan Pop, and say that they are "taking steps to investigate the matter."
The University wrote in a reply from its main account on Twitter over the weekend that it will "continue to liaise with Toronto Police Service" in regards to the case.
"We're aware of reports regarding an incident on the TTC allegedly involving one of our instructors," wrote the northwest Toronto school, which boasts more than 50,000 undergraduate students.
"We take this very seriously but cannot comment further on personnel related matters."
We're aware of reports regarding an incident on the TTC allegedly involving one of our instructors. We’re taking steps to investigate the matter and continue to liaise with Toronto Police Service. We take this very seriously but cannot comment further on personnel related matters— York University (@yorkuniversity) January 18, 2020
"This morning around 10 a.m. on my commute to work I was sitting across a young girl probably between 16-18 years of age. The train was practically empty and this man sat right beside her," reads the caption of that post, which contains a clear image of a man in black with a blue backpack.
"I was in and out of sleep but I didn't think much of it. I woke up to her tapping me on my shoulder in tears asking if I saw the man," the post continues.
"She said she had her eyes closed listening to music but slightly opened them when he sat right beside her because she thought it was odd. She said he took off his jacket, put it on his lap, with his bag over it just like in the photo and put his hands through it and started to feel up the side of her breast. She was wearing a sweater, so she noticed right away."
The teenager is said to have gotten up and moved so that she could take the man's picture. When he noticed her camera, he ran away.
Disgusted with the man's alleged actions, @inked_mamii shared the photo on Instagram and asked her followers to do the same.
"I wanted to share this creep's photo because he targeted someone who he thought was asleep. He targeted a young school girl. In broad daylight in front of people!" she wrote. "This could habe been any of us. Could habe been our daughters. PLEASE SHARE."
Share, the people did.
A copy of the original Instagram post that was published to Twitter by @aypatek on Thursday night has now been retweeted more than 4,000 times.
Posts about the incident have also solicited some seriously disturbing replies, including further allegations against the man pictured, as well as his alleged identity.
"Y'all please be aware of ur surroundings, this disgusting creature did the same exact thing to my friend," wrote one Twitter user in reply to @aypatek's tweet, including three covertly-taken photos of what appears to be the same man on a TTC bus.
One person replied with a screenshot from Pop's alleged Linkedin page — which, again, was live on Friday but had been deleted by Monday morning.
Previous to its deletion, the profile stated that Pop had been a professor at York for five years and that he is a partner at the company Vesta Solutions.
"Ahhh Stefan Pop. The only prof I've ever witnessed be so bad at his job, that multiple students got up and left in the middle of the first lecture," wrote one person in the yorku subreddit of Pop. "Good times lol."
While some are doubtful that the man pictured is actually the professor — and correctly pointing out that the allegations against Pop have not been proven — one student stated that "due to the way he dresses and that backpack, I can say that its him sadly. Not 100 per cent, but very likely."
Toronto Police are investigating, according to York, as is the university itself.
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