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18th Oct 2021

US train passengers used phone ‘to record rape’, according to authorities

Charlie Herbert

woman raped on Pennsylvania train

The assault lasted more than 40 minutes

A woman was sexually assaulted on a moving train in Pennsylvania whilst passengers watched on without intervening, according to officials.

Some passengers are reported to have even filmed the rape on their phones.

The attack took place at around 11pm on October 13 on a train to Upper Darby town on the Market Frankford line of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).

The man is now facing criminal charges for rape and assault.

Identified as 35-year-old Fiston Ngoy, who is thought to be homeless, the man sat next to the woman on the train and tried to start a conversation with her.

But as she rejected his advances he got more aggressive and started harassing her. He then proceeded to take her clothes off.

The assault was recorded on the train’s surveillance cameras. For more than 40 minutes, the man harassed, groped and eventually raped the woman until a transport authority employee called 911, according to 6abc.

Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt of the Upper Darby Police Department said that the footage gathered was used to charge the man but that he was shocked after watching it to see that no fellow passengers did anything to intervene.

He said: “It’s disturbing that there were definitely people on the El and no one did anything to intervene or help this woman.

“It speaks to where we are in society; I mean, who would allow something like that to take place? So it’s troubling.”

He told NBC Philadelphia that he had spoken to the woman on Friday and that she was doing okay after being taken to hospital to be treated for her injuries following the assault.

Thomas J Nestel III, Septa police chief, said: “I can tell you that people were holding their phone up in the direction of this woman being attacked.”

He added: “What we want is everyone to be angry and disgusted and to be resolute about making the system safer.”

SEPTA have issued a statement labelling the act as “horrific” and urging any witnesses to come forward to authorities.

A spokesman said: “The assault was observed by a SEPTA employee, who called 911, enabling SEPTA officers to respond immediately and apprehend the suspect in the act.

“There were other people on the train who witnessed this horrific act, and it may have been stopped sooner if a rider called 911. SEPTA urges anyone who observes a crime being committed or any dangerous situation occurring to report it.

“Anyone witnessing an emergency should immediately call 911.”

Ngoy has been charged with rape, aggravated indecent assault and related counts, according to Delaware County court records.

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