Train rape suspect had been considered for deportation but was given a second chance

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A man accused of raping a woman on a moving train in Pennsylvania was previously considered for deportation by immigration officials after his student visa expired.

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Philadelphia police arrested Fiston Ngoy, 35, last week Wednesday after a woman was sexually assaulted in front of several passengers on a southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) train on the Market-Frankford Line.

According to a report the suspect, who listed a homeless shelter as his last residence in official records, came to the US legally in 2012.


After dropping out as a student, however, the Congolese man’s visa was reportedly terminated in 2015.

He has previously been convicted of multiple arrests and two misdemeanors, including one count of sexual abuse and one count of controlled substances, court records show.

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The 35-year-old also pleaded guilty in 2017 to a crime of sexual assault in Washington DC, resulting in a sentence of 120 days in prison and an additional nine months of probation.

Subsequently, he was remanded to immigration custody in January 2018, but was not deported after an immigration judge ordered a “withholding removal” notice in March 2019. This came after the Board of Immigration Appeals noted that the sex offense committed by him was not. A “serious crime” that renders him unfit to live in the US.

Last week, SEPTA officials said a man had to be dragged to harass and assault a woman for 40 minutes after a railway employee called 911 around 11 p.m. to report the attack. Officials have since said that the sexual assault was witnessed by several other passengers on the train, who kept their phones filming the rape and did not intervene directly or by calling 911.

Officials said the woman and her assailant had boarded the train at the same stop, after which he tried to initiate a conversation with her. The man groped, harassed and eventually raped the woman in a continuous assault that lasted for at least 24 train stops.

Officials said the attack was recorded on SEPTA surveillance cameras.

Police officers intervened within three minutes of the first call to 911, reported the incident by a SEPTA employee, and took the suspect into custody before the train reached its final stop.

Nestel III, head of SEPTA’s Transit Police Department, described the passivity of passengers during the attack at a news conference this week, saying: “We want everyone to be angry and disgusted and determined to make the system safer “

Mr Ngoy has been charged with rape and assault, and is in custody on $180,000 (£130,000) bail. He will be produced in court on Monday 25 October.

Credit: / Pennsylvania

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