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Man charged with stalking women in Center City

Steve Ditty has served jail time for a similar crime.

File photo.
File photo.Read moreALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / Staff Photographer

A 32-year-old man has been charged with stalking women in Center City and is being investigated for additional incidents, the District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

Steve Ditty, who previously served jail time for a similar crime, was arrested Tuesday and charged with three counts of stalking, which is a felony, two counts of simple assault, and three counts of harassment.

The District Attorney’s Office alleges:

• On Nov. 12, Ditty approached a woman around Ninth and South Streets and tried to start a conversation. She began to jog away and he followed her and tried to touch her. A bystander yelled at him and he stopped his behavior.

• On Nov. 23, the same woman was walking around Third and Arch Streets when Ditty approached her and talked about her body.

• The woman reported the incidents to police after seeing social media posts about similar incidents involving Ditty.

• A second woman said that Ditty approached her on Nov. 14 and asked to use her phone. The woman declined and became uncomfortable with how he was talking. He refused to leave her alone and touched her as she tried to walk away.

Ditty is on probation following a 10-month jail term for a similar offense. The District Attorney’s Office is requesting bail be set at $999,999 for each of the three incidents.

“Women and all people deserve the freedom and comfort of being able to move about in public spaces without fear for their safety. Unfortunately, so-called street harassment of women and girls is all too common,” said Branwen McNabb, supervisor of the District Attorney’s Office Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit, in a statement.

“The District Attorney’s Office and Philadelphia Police continue to investigate other reported incidents involving Ditty over the past month, and additional charges are possible. If you were a victim of this conduct or know someone who was, we encourage you to report what you know to the Philadelphia Police at 215-686-TIPS,” McNabb said.