Someone Is Filming Women on Metro and Uploading the Videos to a Porn Site

Metro is investigating, but it might be difficult to prosecute the creep.
Someone Is Filming Women on Metro and Uploading the Videos to a Porn Site
Photograph by Flickr user Joseph Gruber.

Metro Transit Police are investigating videos depicting unsuspecting female passengers that were recently uploaded to a porn video sharing website. The videos, which show Metro riders wearing skirts or shorts who appear to be unaware that they are being recorded secretly, recently appeared on the website xHamster.com with descriptions including words like “teens” and “slut.”

Many of the videos also appear to show the subjects faces. The clips were first reported by the blog PoPville, which received a note from a reader who says stumbled upon one in the course of a different web search.

“I ran across one of these videos when it popped up in a totally unrelated search; and, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed it were it not for the distinctive colors of Metro seat,” the reader wrote. “I watched enough to confirm that it definitely was Metro, not some other similar appearing system – the map is a dead giveaway; and, it showed the Silver Line, meaning that the video is recent – and clicked through to the user who posted it.”

Metro says its detectives are investigating the videos, which were posted by a user calling himself “DonkCam1.”

“As always, we encourage riders to report any harassment or unusual behavior to Transit Police, even if the incident may not rise to the level of a crime,” Metro spokeswoman Caroline Laurin writes in an e-mail to Washingtonian. Metro takes complaints about harassment through its website and over the phone at 202-962-2121.

Even more frustrating than the videos’ existence is the fact that they might not, Laurin says, rise to the level of a crime. Voyeurism in public spaces is difficult to prosecute. A DC Superior Court judge in October threw out two charges against a Springfield man accused of taking illicit pictures at the Lincoln Memorial of female tourists’ bodies, saying that the women did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such a busy location.

On its Terms and Conditions page, xHamster says users are required to have the “written consent, release, and/or permission of each and every identifiable person in your submission to use the name or likeness of each individual for use in your submssions.” Metro is also advising people who wish to file a complaint against DonkCam1 by contacting the website directly.

Find Benjamin Freed on Twitter at @brfreed.

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Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.