Princeton police are investigating a Hopewell man charged with the recent groping of a teen as a suspect in dozens of similar incidents dating to 2015, the department said Tuesday.
Detectives arrested Melecio Xecchay, 49, on Monday on charges he grabbed a 17-year-old girl’s left leg as she got into her car Thursday morning in a Franklin Avenue parking lot. Police believe he was trying to grab her buttocks.
Xecchay is charged with attempted criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child. He faces no other charges.
Princeton police Lt. Chris Tash said Tuesday the parking lot incident has several similarities to the many prior gropings that have beset the town for several years. He said detectives are investigating Xecchay for any possible connections.
Most of the prior assaults and gropings have a pattern of a male running up to a young woman from behind and grabbing her buttocks, then running away. In a few cases, the person approached so suddenly, the victim fell to the ground.
Princeton police charged a man in 2020 with a public groping on Witherspoon Street, but that investigation did not lead to additional charges, and the attacks continued. Records show the case against the 2020 suspect is pending.
Xecchay is identified in court records and is being held at the Mercer County jail under the name Melecio Xec.
On his LinkedIn page, in which he says his name is Melecio Xec, he lists himself as the owner of a construction company.
Anyone with information about the incidents may contact Princeton police Detective Eric Dawson at 609-921-2100, ext. 1832.
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