Rotterdam man fined in first ever conviction for sexual harassment on the street

Lady Justice (Picture: Twitter/@danvelton). (Lady Justice (Picture: Twitter/@danvelton))

The Rotterdam court convicted and punished someone for sexual harassment on the street for the first time. Everon El F., 36, was given two conditionally suspended fines of 100 euros each for harassing eight women in two separate incidents during the summer, reports.

Sexual harassment on the street became a punishable offense in Rotterdam at the start of this year. El F. is the first ever Dutch man who had to appear in court for this crime. 

On two different days during the summer, El F. called after women, followed them, blew kisses at them, made hand gestures at them, and in one case sat down very close to a woman on a public bench. The city's enforcers witnessed this. A number of the women expressly stated that they were not interested in the man's approaches, a number ran away.

El F. told the court that he will never harass women on the street again. "I meant it as a compliment, I did not know it was punishable", he said. He told the judge that he is single and wants a girlfriend. That's why he said things like "Hey beautiful lady" and "Hey baby" to the women. "They were very beautiful", he said. "Really good vitamins for your eyes."

The judge said that saying things like "hey beautiful lady" or "hey baby" are not punishable, but El F.'s actions like following the women and blowing kisses at them are. 

Research by the Erasmus University Rotterdam previously showed that almost all women in Rotterdam between the ages of 18 and 45 are faced with sexual harassment on the street. The city therefore adapted its General Local Regulation to make this a punishable offense and hired more enforcers. Amsterdam did the same, but no suspects have been arrested yet in the capital.