Giovanni Verdelli, 60, was arrested after allegedly groping a Jersey City woman on a PATH train. Women in the area were rightfully shocked to learn that this is the 169th arrest of Verdelli — often for sexual molestation and misconduct of women and girls. He is a serial groper and it is not clear if 169 will be the charm to put him away.
Verdelli is now charged with two counts of criminal sexual misconduct and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. He faces a maximum of 18 months in jail.
Verdelli’s record goes back to the 1970s. His most recent arrest came after a woman gave officers a cell phone picture that she took after a prior groping.
He is already on the sexual offender registry. The problem is that groping is a relatively minor offense so Verdelli does not spend much time in jail — as is the case with the minor theft arrests on his record. The question is what to do. Recidivist laws are often criticized for allowing relatively minor offenses to result in life imprisonment. Yet, Verdelli is clearly a habitual offender who will continue to grope and molest women.
I think that a court should consider the maximum sentence in this case given this record.