NEW YORK, Jan 10 (Reuters) – A Sudanese diplomat was arrested in New York City and charged with sexually rubbing up against a woman in a subway car but the charges were dropped and he was released because he had diplomatic immunity, police said on Tuesday.
Mohammad Abdalla Ali, 49, was riding a train out of the city’s Grand Central Terminal on Monday afternoon when he approached a 38-year-old woman from behind and rubbed his crotch against her, New York Police Department spokeswoman Arlene Muniz said in a phone interview.
Ali was brought to a precinct and charged with sexual abuse and forcible touching but those charges were later voided and he will not face prosecution, police said.
Representatives of Sudan’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, where Ali is listed as finance attaché, could not immediately be reached for comment.
New York police said they had reported the incident involving Ali to the U.S. State Department. A spokesman at the State Department had no immediate comment.
Prosecutors want the U.S. State Department to seek a waiver of immunity for Mohammed Abdalla Ali so he can be charged for the alleged crime.
The DA’s Office wrote a formal letter, obtained by The Post, to the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, asking that a petition be sent to the State Department in the case. Ultimately, it would be up to Sudan to waive Ali’s immunity.
Prosecutors argue there is solid evidence that Ali, a married dad, was grinding up against a woman on the uptown 4 train Monday morning.
“I have determined that based upon the available information and the interview of the arresting officer, there is reasonable cause to charge Mohammed and sufficient evidence to convict him beyond a reasonable doubt,” reads the letter, which was signed by Manhattan Executive ADA for Strategic Initiatives Nitin Savur.
“Accordingly, I hereby formally request on behalf of the New York County District Attorney’s Office that the Office of the Mayor petition the State Department to seek a waiver of immunity to allow prosecution herein.”
Transit anti-crime cops saw Ali ogling other female prey before positioning himself behind a 38-year-old Brooklyn Heights woman and repeatedly grinding his pelvis against her inside the crowded train car.
“Mohammed was observed by Detective [Marquis] Cross and his partner pacing on the northbound subway platform while staring at the buttocks of numerous women on the platform,” the letter says.
“Shortly thereafter, a woman, whose identity is known to the District Attorney’s Office, boarded a #4 train and Mohammed jumped the line of passengers entering into the train so that he was positioned directly behind her.”
The cops followed Ali onto the train, where they saw him “repeatedly rub his groin against the buttocks of the woman, who turned around each time and stared at Mohammed,” the letter says.
When Ali went to get off the train, Detective Cross noticed he had “a bulge in the front of his pants groin area,” it adds.
He was arrested and charged with sexual abuse and forcible touching, but the charges were dropped after the 49-year-old presented his diplomatic identification.
“We are aware of allegations of a criminal act by a Sudanese diplomat that led to the involvement of the NYPD,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner. “We are in touch with the NYPD and the Mayor’s office so that we are able to take appropriate steps, as needed, to address this matter.”