‘Horrific’: Woman raped on Philadelphia train while bystanders did nothing, police say

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A woman was raped in the presence of other passengers on a commuter train in suburban Philadelphia, which a police officer said “should have done something.”

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Upper Darby Police Department Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt said officers were called to the 69th Street terminal at around 10 p.m. Wednesday after an attack on a westbound train on the Market-Frankford line.

Bernhardt said an employee of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority 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, Septa police traced the woman and arrested a man. The woman was taken to the hospital.

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Bernhardt called the victim an “incredibly strong woman” who provided a lot of information to the police. She said she did not know her attacker.

“She’s doing fine,” Bernhardt said. “Hopefully she will recover from this.”

Bernhardt said the entire episode was captured in surveillance video, showing other people on the train.

“In my opinion, there were too many people who should have intervened; Somebody should have done something,” Bernhardt said. “It tells where we are in society; I mean, who would allow something like this to happen? So it’s troubling.”

According to Delaware County Court records, Fiston Ngoy, 35, has been charged with rape, aggravated indecent assault, and related counts. Bernhardt said he is known to both the SEPTA and the Upper Darby Police.

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Court documents do not list a defense attorney, and Saturday could not find a listed number for him.

SEPTA issued a statement calling it a “horrific criminal act” and urging anyone witnessing such an incident to report it to the authorities.

“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.

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