Bystanders on Philadelphia train held up phones as woman was raped, police say

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A man accused of raping a woman on a commuter train outside Philadelphia harassed her for more than 40 minutes, while several people held up their phones to record the attack without intervention, officials said. Had happened.

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The police chief of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority said at a news conference Monday that more than two dozen train stops passed as the man harassed, groped and eventually raped the woman.

The police cannot believe that even a single witness on the train dialed 911. They are investigating whether some spectators filmed the attack.


On Wednesday night, both men and women boarded a train at the same stop in North Philadelphia. At the last stop, the officers pulled the man from the woman. Officials said they responded within about three minutes to a 911 call from an employee of the Transportation Authority.

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SEPTA Police Chief Thomas J. “We want everyone to be angry and hateful and determined to make the system safe,” Nestel III said at the news conference.

Arrest records show that Fiston Ngoy, 35, was charged with rape and related offences.

The arrest affidavit for Ngoy includes detailed timing of the attack, in which the woman is seen repeatedly pushing Ngoy away during those 40 minutes.

Nestle did not give an estimated number of witnesses and it was not clear from the affidavit how many passengers were present during those 40 minutes. Officials have not released the surveillance video.

“I can tell you that people were holding their phones in the direction of attacking this woman,” he said.

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Elizabeth Jeglik, professor of psychology in the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, researches sexual violence prevention. She said that if people feel uncomfortable physically intervening, there are other options like calling the police.

“When we have many people, people don’t necessarily intervene,” she said. “However, recent research actually suggests that looking at video footage of more extreme situations that in 90% of cases we see people interfering. So it was actually somewhat of an aberration in the case that someone did not step forward to help this person.

Upper Darby Police Department Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt said surveillance footage showed other passengers were on the train and that someone “should have done something.” Messages for Bernhardt were left on Monday.

The New York Times reports that Bernhardt said those who recorded the attack and failed to intervene could be charged, but it would be up to the Delaware County District Attorney’s office to determine.

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No calls were made to 911 in Philadelphia. Nestel said police are still waiting for Delaware County 911, including the last two train stops, to determine if it has received any calls.

Investigators said in the affidavit that shortly after 9:15 p.m., about a minute after boarding the train car, Ngoy sat next to the woman, with videos showing her pushing her several times, until she Doesn’t let down his pants at around 9:52 p.m.

Bernhardt said officers arrived at the 69th Street terminal on the Market-Frankford line, SEPTA’s busiest route, around 10 p.m.

Bernhardt said a SEPTA employee, who was in the back of the train, asked to report to police that “something was not right” with a woman on the train, Bernhardt said.

Waiting at the next stop, the Septa police traced the woman and arrested Nagoy, whom they had pulled from the woman. He was taken to a hospital.

According to court documents, the woman told police that Ngoy ignored her pleas to leave.

Ngoy, in his statement to the police, claimed that he knew the victim but could not remember her name and said the encounter was consensual.

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Ngoy, who listed his last address as a homeless shelter, remained in custody on $180,000 bail. His initial court appearance is scheduled for October 25. Court records show he had not requested a public defender until Monday.

SEPTA issued a statement calling it a “horrific criminal act” and allows anyone seeing such an incident to report it by calling 911, pressing an emergency button on each train car, or using the authorities’ emergency safety app. urged to do

“There were other people on the train who witnessed this horrific act, and it could have been stopped sooner if a rider had called 911,” the authority said.

AP journalist Ted Schaffrey in New York contributed to this report.

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