Police Say Groping Suspect Admitted to Dozens of Attacks
Geremias Cruz Ramos, 27, will be released on $1,000 cash bail on the conditions that he surrender his passport and stay away from the Harvard campus.
Although he is only charged with two counts of indecent assault, a Cambridge Police Department (CPD) officer testified yesterday that Ramos admitted to groping three to four women a week over the past five or six months.
“He said he felt good, felt accomplished, and [the assaults] made him happy,” Detective John F. Fulkerson said.
Ramos is the only suspect who has been arrested in a string of six sexual assaults near the Harvard campus this year.
Ramos was arraigned earlier yesterday for indecent assault and battery in an incident that occurred on Jan. 13 near Claverly Hall, where he is accused of groping an undergraduate.
Ramos, a janitor at Stillman Infirmary in the Holyoke Center, had previously been charged with assaulting a graduate student on Jan. 20.
Cambridge police have said he is not a suspect in the four earlier incidents because the suspect descriptions in those cases do not match Ramos profile.
University President Lawrence H. Summers said yesterday that Harvard was “gratified by the arrest” and said he had asked the General Counsel’s office to review procedures for background checks on Harvard employees.
Ramos is an employee of Sodhexo, a facilities management company that Harvard subcontracts to perform janitorial services.
Fulkerson testified yesterday that the victim in the Jan. 20 incident had been at the intersection of Mt. Auburn and Holyoke Streets on her way to meet friends for dinner.
According to Fulkerson, Ramos “came up from behind her, cutting her off,” and then “grabbed her between the legs, in the crotch area.”
“She said it was a very forcible grab,” Fulkerson said. “She was very upset and he walked away casually.”
After the graduate student used her cell phone to call the police, the suspect began running away.
Police showed the victim a surveillance video of the area to which the suspect had fled, and she recognized Ramos as the suspect “immediately,” according to Fulkerson.
Police identified Ramos’ clothing as a Harvard custodial uniform, and took the victim to Holyoke Center, where she pointed out Ramos from a group of six to eight workers.
The undergraduate who was the victim of the Jan. 13 assault near Claverly was shown photographs of potential suspects and “immediately” picked out a photo of Ramos, Fulkerson said.
Ramos’ lawyer, Carlos Dominguez, said during the hearing that Ramos, who lives with his girlfriend and nine-month old daughter in Revere, Mass., is not dangerous and has no prior history of violence.
“There’s not clear evidence that he’s a danger to others,” Dominguez said, pointing out that Ramos is not being accused of using weapons or verbally threatening the women he allegedly assaulted.
Dominguez said that because the police interview with Ramos was conducted in Spanish, Fulkerson may not have understood what Ramos told him about the assaults.
But Fulkerson said there was a Spanish speaking officer acting as a translator in the interview room.
Dominguez said today that he expected Ramos would post bail and hand in his passport by the end of the week.
Fulkerson said at the hearing that the Massachusetts drivers license Ramos presented to CPD for identification purposes was fake.
Ramos’ next court appearance will be at a pre-trial hearing on February 23.
If found guilty, he could receive a maximum of five years in jail for each count of indecent assault.
—Staff writer Hera A. Abbasi can be reached at email@example.com.
—Elisabeth S. Theodore contributed to the reporting of this story.