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Brooklyn woman sexually assaulted by biker in Goa; attacker arrested

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Melody Gambino, who was visiting Goa, says the incident happened over the Indian Republic Day weekend.

An American woman visiting India was sexually assaulted by a bike driver she hired in Goa, the woman revealed in a Facebook post on Monday. Melody Gambino, who lives in Brooklyn, NY, was visiting Goa over the Indian Republic Day weekend, according to her post.

She said she hired the bike driver to drive her to the Baga beach in north Goa for dinner.

Gambino wrote that the driver, who identified himself to her as, Ezy M, was friendly initially and she” saw nothing wrong with having a safe, platonic conversation.”

Upon arrival, he asked her where she was staying and offered a good rate to take her back to the hotel, she wrote. He waited for two hours for her while she was having dinner.

On the way to her hotel in Morjim, Gambino said that “he started misbehaving.”

She described her experience: “He asked me if I would give him a kiss and obviously, I said no. I tried to keep it light and suggested he ‘keep it professional’. I noticed that he kept taking turns into lanes that weren’t on our route and he kept saying that they were shortcuts, but it had already been 40 minutes on his bike. As we drove along, he forced my hands and took them under his shirt and despite constantly telling him to “keep it professional”, he took my hands further down over his pants. And then he said he needed to pull over. He stopped his bike and before I could realize what was happening, his penis was in my hands. “

Gambino wrote that she got off the bike, “threw a 500 rupee note at him and ran down the street.”

“Thankfully, I got to a busy main road and he lost me,” she added.

The woman wrote that she “shaken” and if “this guy does not get pulled up for what he did, he WILL get bolder and do something even worse the next time.”

Gambino said that she will “go back to Goa again someday and try and not let this incident mar the memory of such a beautiful place.”

She requested readers to share her post “with as many people as you can because he may endanger another woman’s safety if you don’t.”

In a subsequent post, Gambino wrote that she was contacted by the Goa police and has confirmed that her assaulter Isidore Fernandes has been booked. She said that a formal complaint will be filed on Wednesday.

She thanked all the people who supported her during the difficult times and criticized those who questioned her integrity. She also extended her thanks to Indian authorities saying, “I’m grateful for the Indian authorities who acted so fast and the incredible support for by all of you for sharing and offering kind words.”

According to the Goa police, the accused was nabbed on Wednesday morning and on questioning confirmed that he committed the crime. Police Inspector C.L. Patil of the Anjuna Police station confirmed the arrest.

“He is from Anjuna and has admitted to the crime,” Patil told The New Indian Express. “We picked him based on the photograph that the victim had managed to click. We used the photograph to track him down.”

Read the full post of Melody Gambino

POST 1

I was in Goa for about 48 hours over the Indian Republic Day weekend and I got sexually assaulted by my bike driver.
I am hoping that if you see this man’s photo – you will never trust your safety with him. He calls himself Ezy M and he is dangerous.

I was at the Arpora night market in Goa and it is here that I hired this man to drive me to Baga where I was having dinner. While on our way, he was friendly and I saw nothing wrong with having a safe, platonic conversation.
Upon arrival, he asked where I was staying and offered a good rate to take me back to the town my hotel is in and waited 2 hours for me. He picked me up post-dinner, and when we were making our way back to my hotel in Morjim that he started misbehaving.
He asked me if I would give him a kiss and obviously, I said no. I tried to keep it light and suggested he ‘keep it professional’.
I noticed that he kept taking turns into lanes that weren’t on our route and he kept saying that they were shortcuts, but it had already been 40 minutes on his bike.
As we drove along, he forced my hands and took them under his shirt and despite constantly telling him to “keep it professional”, he took my hands further down over his pants.
And then he said he needed to pull over. He stopped his bike and before I could realize what was happening, his penis was in my hands.
I got off the bike, threw a 500 rupee note at him and ran down the street. Thankfully, I got to a busy main road and he lost me.
But I’m shaken. If this guy does not get pulled up for what he did, he WILL get bolder and do something even worse the next time.
This is how it begins.
I will go back to Goa again someday and try and not let this incident mar the memory of such a beautiful place. But let’s try and make it safer than it is.
Share this with as many people as you can because he may endanger another woman’s safety if you don’t.
Goa Goa Tourism Department

Post 2

While still shaken by the events, I’m happy to report this man was tracked and a formal report with the Goa police is being lodged tomorrow. I’m grateful for the Indian authorities who acted so fast and the incredible support for by all of you for sharing and offering kind words.
For those of you who did not have the kindest words, or questioned my story – you are why the 
#MeToo moment is needed. You are why women are scared to come forward with the truth. You are why there is systemic misogyny and abuse of women across the world.
I wasn’t ‘too friendly’
I got a selfie with him BEFORE he got inappropriate
I didn’t get his bike # because we were on a dark rode and I was scared
I gave him money because I was scared and wanted to get away and lessen the chance he’d come after me
I didn’t scream because I wasn’t sure if it would escalate the situation in the wrong way
I don’t believe the answer is wearing more clothes, not traveling alone, carrying a weapon
The answer is raising awareness, supporting those with the courage to speak up, and resisting victim shaming.


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