Serial Groper Convicted, Required to Register as Sex Offender After Victimizing Women on L.A. Metro

A Metro station is seen in a file photo. (Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

A Metro station is seen in a file photo. (Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

A 26-year-old man with five previous convictions for groping women on Los Angeles-area public transit was again convicted of such attacks and will be required to register as a sex offender for life and to stay away from Metro facilities.

The defendant, Ager Linder, entered a plea of no contest to two counts of sexual battery and two counts of battery against a transit passenger for incidents that targeted four female victims, including a minor, between July and December 2017.

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced the conviction Friday, saying Linder was sentenced to 450 days in jail, 36 months of probation, and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration.

Linder must also complete a yearlong sex offender treatment program and keep at least 100 yards away from all Metro trains and stations.

“People should be able to use our transit systems without troubling and frightening harassment, abuse or worse,” Feuer said in a statement. “Public transit is essential to the future of our city, and we must do all we can to ensure our moms, kids — everyone — can ride without fear.”

The conviction comes as Metro has seen declining ridership and has made efforts to step up security in the sprawling system.

Some 29 percent of former passengers told Metro that they stopped taking public transit because they felt unsafe, according to a 2016 survey cited by the Los Angeles Times. And L.A. City Councilwoman Nury Martinez said this week she doesn’t feel comfortable taking her 8-year-old daughter on the Red Line.

Linder’s recent conviction was for attacks that all occurred on the Red Line, according to Feuer.

Martinez was quoted in Feuer’s news release as saying Linder’s conviction was a step forward “in the fight against sexual harassment and assault on public transit.”

Linder allegedly approached his victims and grabbed their breasts, buttocks or other body parts. Last December, he is accused of pinning a victim against the wall of a train and grabbing her buttocks. She was able to get away and alert authorities.

Linder’s previous convictions include incidents on buses in Culver City, Norwalk and West L.A., as well as the Blue Line in Long Beach. In the West L.A. incident, he grabbed a woman’s buttocks and vagina.

He had apparently not previously been required to register as a sex offender; there’s no record on the state’s Megan’s Law website for anyone by the name Ager Linder.

County inmate records show Linder was arrested most recently on Dec. 3 by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood Division. He is being held at Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic and his “projected release date” is listed as Feb. 27.