Md. teen charged with sexual abuse in Metro ‘upskirt’ case; potentially dozens more victims

WASHINGTON — Metro Transit Police have arrested a Maryland teen who’s accused of putting a cellphone up a woman’s skirt at the Columbia Heights Metro station last week and is also suspected in several other Metro “upskirting” incidents.

Brandon Lynn Williams, 19, of Forestville, Maryland, was arrested Tuesday and charged initially with misdemeanor sexual abuse, Metro police announced.

Last Thursday, a woman used Metro’s online harassment-reporting system to report feeling a hand up her skirt while she rode an escalator exiting the Columbia Heights station.

Metro spokesman Dan Stessel told WTOP police reviewed digital surveillance video, which they said showed Williams placing a cellphone up the woman’s skirt. Stessel said surveillance video also showed Williams in the Columbia Heights station for hours that day “riding up and down the escalator engaged in the same sort of activity where he was placing a cellphone up the skirts of unsuspecting females unbeknownst to them.”

Metro Transit police released this photo of 19-year-old Brandon Lynn Williams, who is suspected of several upskirting incidents. Anyone who believes they may be a victim should call the Metro Transit Police Department. (Courtesy MTPD)

Police, who released surveillance photos of the suspect last week, said a tip from the public led to Williams’ arrest. Police said they received a search warrant for a residence in Prince George’s County and seized multiple electronic devices, including cellphones, computers and hard drives.

“All of that is being gone through now to see whether there are other locations, and it’s a pretty safe assumption that there will be,” Stessel said.

Authorities have identified eight to 10 women who were upskirted by Williams, Stessel said. “But we also believe disturbingly that there are probably dozens of other victims out there,” he added.

Police said they believe Williams was at the Columbia Heights station on Aug. 2 and at the Columbia Heights and U Street Metro stations on Aug. 3.

Metro police said anyone who believes they may be a victim should call the criminal investigations division at 301-955-5000, text “MyMTPD” (696873), or use Metro’s online harassment portal at wmata.com/harassment.

Stessel credited investments in digital surveillance video cameras on the Metro system for aiding the investigation.

“You need to know that wherever you are on Metro — if you’re in a public space on the Metro system and, increasingly, on board rail cars now with the new trains coming in — all of that is under digital video surveillance,” Stessel said. “And so it’s really, really difficult to think you’re going to get away with something like this.”


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