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New Jersey man sentenced to 10 years after masturbating on subway, attacking woman

A man attacked a woman with a knife, sprayed pepper spray in her eys and bit her hand after she caught him masturbating on the subway.
Passengers ride a subway in New York during rush hour. (Photo: Clari Massimiliano/Shutterstock)

NEW YORK (WTHR) — A 48-year-old man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after a woman confronted him about masturbating on a Subway and he attacked her.

NBC New York reports a woman woke up on a New York City subway and saw Reggie Frank masturbating across from her last February. She asked what he was doing, and Frank emptied a can of pepper spray into her eyes, then pulled out a knife and attacked her. He cut her hand as she tried to fight him away. The wound required her to get 15 stitches and caused permanent nerve damage.

Prosecutors say Frank also punched the woman, dug his finger into her eye and bit her hand. She suffered an eye injury that still affects her vision.

A good Samaritan eventually pulled Frank off of her, and the conductor called police.

A jury convicted Frank of assault, criminal possession of a weapon and public lewdness in September. In addition to his 10-year sentence, Frank will have to serve 10 years of post-release supervision.

Frank had previously been charged with 20 prior convictions related to public lewdness.

"The fact that the defendant has 20 prior convictions related to public lewdness is ample evidence that he is willing to disregard the law, the risk of incarceration and the harm to society," Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement.