A Bronx man was hit with sexual abuse charges for rubbing up against three women in Manhattan subway trains, after police solved the nearly decade-old cold cases by using DNA evidence, the Manhattan District Attorney's office said Tuesday.
Darnell Hardware, 26, of the Bronx, was charged with felony first-degree sexual abuse, misdemeanor forcible touching and misdemeanor criminal mischief. He also currently has two pending cases for similar crimes in Brooklyn and the Bronx.
All Manhattan incidents happened during rush hours between 2002 and 2005. The cases went cold, but after Hardwarewas picked up in January on drug charges, a DNA sample taken from him matched what was found on the victims’ clothing.
“This case represents a small but significant step toward ensuring the safety and protection of women on the subway,” District Attorney Cy Vance said. Women "should not ride the subway in fear of being sexually assaulted."
Hardware's bail was set at $7,500, and he's currently being held in the Bronx on his charge there. He faces up to seven years behind bars if convicted of the felony, and one for the misdemeanor.
His next court date is Sept. 13. His attorney didn't return calls for comment.