Police: Man caught sexually abusing women in downtown Phoenix

Posted at 11:57 AM, Nov 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-07 14:17:17-05

Police were able to catch a man in downtown Phoenix after sexually abusing two women while wearing an ankle monitoring device.

Court records show that around 8:45 a.m. on October 31, two women were walking near 2nd Avenue and Van Buren Street when they were groped by a sex offender on probation and wearing an ankle monitoring device.

Police report that the first victim parked her car and was walking to Arizona State University for class while talking on the phone with her mother, when she was groped by a man later identified as 57-year-old James Arthur Wofford. She smacked his hand away, and Wofford left.

Police say, just a few minutes later, Wofford groped another woman while talking to her with sexually explicit language. The woman was able to walk away after telling Wofford to, "back off and leave her alone." 

Wofford allegedly caught up with her again and grabbed her, but the victim managed to get away entering a bank, where she alerted security. 

Police say surveillance video from the bank caught the first assault on video and police were given a photo of Wofford. 

The next morning police located Wofford near 3rd Avenue and Washington Street where he was arrested.

Wofford denied grabbing the women but allegedly told police that when he was in Missouri, he would randomly approach women and ask them for sex. 

Police say he also told them, "I didn't think feeling women was assault."

Wofford is a registered sex offender convicted of trespassing and soliciting a child. He was wearing an ankle monitoring device at the time of the assaults. Probation officials confirmed that he was at the location when the crimes occurred.

Wofford has been charged with sexual abuse, attempted sexual assault, and kidnapping.