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Woman says man dressed as pirate groped her at Gasparilla parade

Posted at 5:32 PM, Jan 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-29 20:09:58-05

A local woman says she was groped by a man dressed as a pirate during Saturday’s Gasparilla parade.

Rina Alvarez says the man, who we are not naming because the Tampa Police Department hasn’t identified him as a suspect, was walking in the parade as a member of Ye Mystic Krewe.

She says he walked up to her, pulled her top down and exposed her chest.

"It was so embarrassing, I didn’t ask for that. I wasn’t drunk,” said Alvarez.

After she yelled at him to stop, she says a friend of hers snapped pictures of the man as he walked away.

"I shouldn’t have to feel not safe anywhere I am: by myself, with people, ever,” she said.

Police say that man reached out to Alvarez on Facebook and said this is a case of mistaken identity and it wasn’t him. His lawyer says he reached out to police and even filed a sworn affidavit after he heard of the accusations.

Ye Mystic Krewe says they are aware of the allegations and sent a statement that says in part:

The alleged behavior goes against the values and conduct required by this organization. We take the allegations seriously and pledge all available resources to the investigation. As parents, grandparents and siblings we must do all we can to stand against the type of behavior that has been alleged.

Alvarez says she has yet to hear from them directly.

"It shouldn’t happen to anybody. Don’t touch me, don’t touch me. That’s it, don’t touch me,” she said. "If you did something wrong there should be consequences. End of story.”

ABC Action News reached out to the man to see if he wanted to share his side of the story but hasn’t heard back yet.