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Police arrest man accused of lewd act on MBTA platform

MBTA Transit Police arrested a man accused of receiving oral sex on the platform of an Orange Line station in downtown Boston earlier this month, as passengers stood nearby.

Officers from Special Crimes Unit arrested Philip Urban, 50, of Malden Thursday night and charged him with open and gross lewdness, Transit Police said.

Urban allegedly received oral sex while standing next to a column at State Street Station on May 15, around 2:30 p.m.

The suspect was wearing a Red Sox jacket, jean shorts, and white sneakers at the time of the alleged incident.

Police were tipped off about Urban’s alleged activity after a photo of the sexual act was shared on Facebook, and later went viral.


After widely distributing surveillance photos of Urban on their own Facebook page and blog this week, officers were able take Urban into custody.

“We received some tips, but we put a lot of time into reviewing images from our public safety cameras, and we were able to track him to Malden,” said Transit Police Lieutenant Richard Sullivan.

Sullivan said Urban could be placed on the state’s sex offender list if he has been convicted of any prior open and gross lewdness charges.

“Conduct like that is not going to be tolerated,” Sullivan said.

Urban faces up to three years in state prison and a $300 fine for the May 15 incident.

Urban is to be arraigned Friday in Boston Municipal Court, according to police.

Steve Annear can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.