Media, PA –
Warning: This story contains disturbing details.

- Advertisement -

The story that passengers saw a woman being raped on a train in suburban Philadelphia last week and “filmed it to their satisfaction instead of calling the police” is false, the prosecutor handling the case said Thursday, after he told witnesses. asked to come forward.

Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stolsteimer said during a news conference that the other passengers on the train were not present for the full 40-minute conversation on October 13 and may not have understood what they were seeing.

advertisement

“People get on and off at every single stop,” Stollstimer said. “It doesn’t mean that when they move on and they see people conversing they know a rape is happening.”

Following Stolstimer surveillance video and witnesses’ arguments, officials said several passengers were present for the attack, with some holding their phones in the direction of the attack as police allege that 35-year-old Fiston Ngoy raped the woman. did. a train seat.

- Advertisement -

Police and Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority officials initially expressed disappointment that passengers did not call 911 or report the attack, even though they did not understand the seriousness of what was happening.

Additional Darby Superintendent of Police Timothy Bernhardt told reporters there were passengers there over the weekend who he believed “should have done something”.

Still, Stolstimer said Thursday, “the narrative that there is a group of people who are ruthlessly filming and not acting is simply not true.” He said that witnesses to the attack can share information without fear of being accused.

He said Wednesday that Pennsylvania law doesn’t allow anyone to be prosecuted just for seeing a crime.

Stolstimer said surveillance video showed two passengers holding phones. He said one of those people provided the video to the authorities under investigation.

Associated Press requests for surveillance video from the attack on the Market-Frankford line have been denied by SEPTA, citing an ongoing criminal investigation.

In an arrest affidavit for Nagoy, police said he boarded the train immediately after the woman, quickly sat next to her, and tried to touch and grope her repeatedly over the next about 40 minutes. Investigators say surveillance video also shows the woman pushing Nogoy several times.

Ngoy, who told police he had previously seen the woman and that the sexual encounter was consensual, has been charged with rape and several related offenses and is being held on US$180,000 bail. The woman taken to the hospital said that she had never met Nagoy and did not allow him to touch her.

A public defender appointed to represent Ngoy declined to comment, saying the matter was too early. The hearing is to be held on Monday.

SEPTA Police Chief Thomas J. Nestel III’s best estimate was that there were about 10 passengers in the vicinity of Ngoy and the woman during the rape, which began at around 9:52 and ended when SEPTA police pulled Ngoy from the woman at around 10 p.m. . , authority spokesman Andrew Bush said on Wednesday.

An off-duty SEPTA employee was one of those 10. Bush said the employee alerted SEPTA police because he believed something was not right in the conversation. He praised the employee’s actions, saying they probably prevented Ngoy from being able to get off the train and evade arrest.

Three minutes after the employee reported the attack, SEPTA officers stationed at the 69th Street terminal responded and stopped the train.

The arrest was also announced on a separate sexual assault charge at the 69th Street terminal at a news conference on Thursday. Bernhardt said a woman had missed her stop and asked the suspect how to get to the platform to go in the opposite direction. As he showed her, Bernhardt said he grabbed the woman and pushed her into a secluded area.

A passenger on the platform heard her cries for help and intervened. The Septa police eventually stopped the attack and took the man into custody.