York University prof from viral TTC groping post arrested and charged with sexual assault
The subject of a viral social media post from January in which a man was accused of groping a young woman aboard a TTC subway train has been arrested and charged with sexual assault, according to Toronto Police.
Nicolae Stefan Pop, a 51-year-old business administration professor at York University, was arrested on Thursday in relation to two sexual assault investigations.
"It is alleged [that] between Friday, January 3, 2020, and Thursday, January 16, 2020, two women were sexually assaulted while seated on the TTC subway train," reads a Toronto Police media release issued Friday morning.
"Two women and a witness contacted police after seeing a social media post."
0207 07:05 Arrest Md In Ttc Sxl Asslt Invst., Nicolae Stefan Pop, 51, Facing Chgs https://t.co/LDnNvxZxqv— Toronto Police (@TorontoPolice) February 7, 2020
The social media post in question was uploaded to Instagram on January 17, 2020, by a user who goes by @inked_mamii.
"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," read the caption of that post, which contained 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 continued.
"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.
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
Instagram user @inked_mamii shared the photo on Instagram, encouraging others to do the same in an effort to bring the man to justice for his alleged actions.
Within days, more alleged victims had come forward with stories and images of their own regarding the man pictured in @inked_mamii's original post.
Several York students identified the man in the photo as Pop, prompting York University officials to release a statement.
"We're aware of reports regarding an incident on the TTC allegedly involving one of our instructors," wrote York, which has more than 50,000 undergraduate students, in a statement at the time.
"We take this very seriously but cannot comment further on personnel related matters."
Pop has now been charged with two counts of Sexual Assault and is scheduled to appear at Old City Hall Court in Toronto on Thursday, March 19, 2020, at 11 a.m.
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