NEW YORK (PIX11) -- It was the sex assault in October 2012 that shocked many. A young woman falls asleep on a subway train only to fall victim to a pervert.
Instead of helping, a fellow straphanger captures the attack on video and it eventually surfaces online. The victim of the attack was college student Elisa Lopez who later learns of her own attack when she sees the video on YouTube.
“It’s been difficult, you know,” Lopez told PIX11 News Monday. “The normal stuff that comes with trauma, the constant fear that comes with all that – its still there.”
Over two years later, justice finally gets served in the case. On Thursday, the suspect identified by the NYPD as 43-year-old Carlos Chuva was arrested. The Queens man was reportedly charged with first degree aggravated sexual abuse.
“I still have my own challenges that I need to face but I am at a point where I can say that I am ready to move forward,” she said upon hearing about the arrest.
While it is a huge victory, it didn’t come easy.
After not feeling like her attack was a priority with authorities, Lopez took matters into her own hands launching a campaign on social media to track down her attacker, even sharing an emotional video about it all on YouTube.
“In the last 2 years there have been so many cases of rape and [these] awful cases have been fueled by social media,” she said. “I know the Internet can be unforgiving but it can also be very positive so I just had to go for it.”
The attack on Lopez takes a page out of the ongoing trend where bystanders opt to film an unraveling incident rather than assist the victim.
A prominent one was a recent brutal attack of a teen at a Brooklyn McDonalds which Lopez called disgusting.
“What’s life worth if [you’re] not helping somebody out, you know. The ‘likes’ aren’t worth it.”
“I saw the McDonald’s video and its disgusting. It’s horrible.”
The one big question Lopez has, and probably a lot of people, why did it take so long to track this guy down.
One theory she had was that if people had shared his image at the same rate and amount they shared the video of her attack, he would have been brought to justice a whole lot sooner.