‘JUST SPEECHLESS’: Passengers took photos and video of the rape on a Philadelphia train, but did not help the victim

The assault lasted about eight minutes, but the bystanders did not help the woman.

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The passengers saw how a woman was raped Wednesday night on a train near Philadelphia, but did not intervene or call the police; some, authorities said, may even have taken photos and videos as it happened.


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Officers reviewed surveillance footage of a Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) train showing a man boarding shortly after a woman and sitting next to her, according to the Upper Police Department superintendent. Darby Township, Timothy Bernhardt. The man spoke to her, pictures show, then “gradually” became aggressive, eventually ripping off her clothes and assaulting her.

“He sat next to her to talk,” Bernhardt said. “And then he just completely overpowered the woman and forcibly raped her.”

Authorities were alerted by a SEPTA employee, said Andrew Busch, a SEPTA spokesman. A SEPTA police department officer intervened after the Market-Frankford line train stopped at 69th Street Transportation Center in Upper Darby. Between 80,000 and 90,000 people travel per day on the Market-Frankford line.


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The assault, he said, lasted about eight minutes, but bystanders did not help the woman.

“If someone who witnessed this had called 911, we may have been able to intervene even earlier,” Busch said. “Because apparently this had started before the employee on board realized what was going on.”

The suspect, Fiston Ngoy, 35, has been charged with several crimes, including rape and aggravated indecent assault, according to court records. He is being held in the Delaware County Jail on $ 180,000 bond.

Once Ngoy was arrested, the woman, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to a hospital for treatment.

“I spoke to the victim yesterday and she is an incredibly strong woman,” Upper Darby superintendent Bernhardt said Saturday. “I can’t say enough about her, how she was able to identify her attacker, tell us what happened. Now he’s working … to get over this. “


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We apologize, but this video could not be loaded.

SEPTA police officers and several unarmed guards regularly patrol its stations and trains, Busch said. They respond mainly to reports of theft and robbery. After this sexual assault, he said, the traffic authority is considering increasing his safety.

For Bernhardt, the most “gruesome” part of the event was the lack of empathy shown by the other people on the train. Investigators are reviewing the surveillance footage and police received reports of passengers recording video or taking photographs while the rape was taking place.

“I am speechless,” he said. “Being the victim of a crime like this and being victimized a second time is absolutely horrible.”

Bernhardt said there are different steps that witnesses can take to intervene. People can call 911, alert the train conductor, or yell to distract an attacker.

“I don’t know where in society we are where people can’t help other people in a time of need,” he said. “If you see something horrendous like this horrible incident, you have to do something, you have to intervene. I think it starts here when we definitely have to go back to decency, where we help and take care of each other. “



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