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Hundreds march against South Slope sex fiends

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More than 400 people marched through South Slope on Wednesday night to unite against the sex fiends who raped one woman and tried to attack nine others since March — a massive show of frustration over the NYPD’s inability to catch the villain and a call for neighbors to protect each other.

City activists, local pols and fed-up neighbors carried glow sticks and whistles, chanting so loudly that people stepped outside of their homes and cheered along the route from Fourth Avenue to Mayrose Park on 17th Street and Sixth Avenue.

“We’re all here because we care about our neighborhood and about one another,” said Jessica Silk, who helped form the new neighborhood watch group Safe Slope only two weeks ago. “It speaks volumes that we came together so quickly.”

Not everyone was in such a feel-good mood.

“Leave us the f—k alone!” read one sign held by a Bedford-Stuyvesant woman.

“I’m so angry — enough is enough!” said Rachel Levin, 25. “I came out here because some of my friends have been sexually assaulted or mugged. Awareness is our biggest weapon.”

At the park, one elected official handed out rape whistles, 72nd Precinct officers distributed safety tips, and Annie Ellman of the Center for Anti-Violence Education in Gowanus showed the crowd how elbow and punch a perpetrator.

A feeling of community permeated the hot summer night, but many participants had a tough message for the attackers.

Councilwoman Letitia James (D–Fort Greene), Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope), and Assemblyman Jim Brennan (D–Park Slope) joined in — but James was the angriest.

“Whoever is responsible for these heinous crimes — we will find you,” James said. “Women need to partner up, we need to be aware, we need to yell and we need to kick them in the balls!”

Police announced on Tuesday that they were seeking two or more suspects in the series of attempted rapes that have rocked South Slope, Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, and most recently Park Slope.

In the latest attack, a monster attacked a woman on Sept. 9 near Seventh Avenue and Ninth Street at about 12:30 am. Police did not provide further information.

A day earlier, a Park Slope woman was on 12th Street between Eighth Avenue and Prospect Park West at about 11:30 pm when the creep grabbed her from behind. She screamed and her neighbors chased him away.

She described him as 5-foot-4 with dark hair, last seen wearing a black tank top.

Adding to the confusion is the existence of three police sketches relating to the same series of crimes.

Some residents have been critical of local police efforts, accusing cops of ignoring 911 calls and a tip from a woman who called Crime Stoppers to report a creep who flashed her on the subway and looked like the South Slope sex fiend.

After an Aug. 26 attack, police described the first suspect as a thin man, about 30 years old, standing 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-8 at 165 pounds.

Recent victims describe a more muscular suspect, at 28 to 30 years old, about 5-foot-6 and last seen wearing a red T-shirt and black pants.

Cops have increased patrols and passed out hundreds of “Wanted” posters since the end of August.

But some locals aren’t waiting for police or even elected officials to protect them. Safe Slope organizers are seeking volunteers for community safe walks and self-defense courses.

“Too often we feel police and elected officials should come up with a solution,” said Sarah Elspeth Patterson, a 27-year-old South Slope resident. “But we can do better for ourselves and for each other.”

Anyone with information on the South Slope rapists is asked to call Brooklyn Special Victims Squad at (718) 230-4415, not Crime Stoppers; free self-defense classes at CrossFit718 [712 Fifth Ave. at 22nd Street in Greenwood Heights, (718) 768-0090], Sept. 21 and Sept. 28 at 7 pm; Sept. 24, Oct. 1 at 1 pm. For info, visit crossfit718.com.

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Reader Feedback

Noah from Queens says:
"Sex fiend?" That perpetuates stereotypes that rape is just about one "creep" who can't control himself rather than being part of a system of oppression.

And I'm willing to bet that the perpetrator was a human being, not a "monster." Demonize this man all you want, but focusing on one man simply distracts us from seeing the whole society that systematically perpetuates rape.
Sept. 15, 2011, 3:16 pm
prillis from ps says:
right on. the perpetrator or perpetrators are part of a society that made him or them this way, a society which includes the victims of rape and assault who in turn failed to change the environment to stop their victimization but instead perpetuated the climate for the harm they incurred. it's so clear now.
Sept. 15, 2011, 4:48 pm
ElaineMonkey from South Park Slope says:
It is worth noting that the woman who was attacked on Sept. 8th waited over an hour and a half for police to show up. And the cops refused to even look at the home security tape that caught the attack on 16th Street until the home owner took it upon himself to send it to the news media.
Sept. 15, 2011, 5:47 pm
jj from brooklyn says:
noah, you're full of crap. most men are not rapists; those who are can rightfully be described as creeps and monsters.
Sept. 15, 2011, 5:50 pm
Monster from The slope says:
Noah maybe you go around groping and raping women. Therefore you are a monster and creep. Society isn't the problem. It's them and people like you.
Sept. 15, 2011, 6:03 pm
Jet from Park Slope says:
It's obvious that the police aren't going to put an end to this or any of the other crime plaguing our neighborhood. I'm not suggesting an angry mob but I think it would be a good idea if some ordinary citizens patrolled the areas where this creep has been lurking at night.
Sept. 16, 2011, 9:32 am
roxy from philly says:
noah has an awesome point- the more we try to pretend that rapists are just random depraved 'sex fiends' and 'perverts', the harder it is for women to name their rapists, because we perpetuate the stereotype that only a certain type of person rapes, and if a guy 'seems nice' or is rich, respected, etc. he couldn't possibly rape anyone.

that is not to say that every single man is a rapist, but the media presenting this rally as a hunt for one or two depraved sex fiends, rather than a call to a community and to other people to dismantle rape culture and address rape from the top down/bottom up (and to look out for their neighbors while this progress is happening) is extremely shortsighted.
Sept. 16, 2011, 11:59 am
prillis from ps says:
roxy: a person can be a nice seeming sexual pervert and still be a sexual pervert. and calling him just a sexual pervert does not perpetuate anything, but merely describes him w.out detailing all his or her other attributes. watch: you're an idiot. but you're also an idiot from philly. i'm not trying to pretend that only idiots can be from phily, or perpetuate the stereotype about philly folk, but am using an terse description of you.
Sept. 16, 2011, 12:23 pm
kate from greenwood heights says:
I think this is AMAZING and, as someone who lives just a few blocks south (and falls within the demographic of those currently at risk, at least for these particular attackers,) I'm disappointed and annoyed that there was not more publicity about this function in my neighborhood, or that the march did not take place down 4th Avenue in an attempt to encourage all the women affected in each neighborhood to participate. I think it is super important that try to create as unified a strategy to deal with this issue.
Sept. 22, 2011, 2:21 am

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