A woman was raped last Wednesday night on a train near Philadelphia while fellow passengers were watching. Authorities said some passengers may have even taken pictures and videos while it happened.
Officers reviewed surveillance footage from a Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) train that shows a man boarding shortly after a woman and sitting next to her.
The footage shows the man talking to her, then “gradually” got aggressive, eventually ripping her clothes off and assaulting her.
Upper Darby Township Police Department Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt said “He sat next to her for a conversation. . . . And then he just completely overpowered the woman and forcibly raped her.”
Andrew Busch, a SEPTA spokesman said the assault took about eight minutes – but onlookers did not help the woman. Busch said:
If somebody who witnessed this had called 911, it’s possible that we would have been able to intervene even sooner. Because this had apparently started before the employee who was on board noticed what was going on.
Court records say the suspect, Fiston Ngoy, 35, has been charged with several crimes, including rape and aggravated indecent assault.
He is being held at the Delaware County jail on $180 000 bail. Once Ngoy was arrested, the woman – who has not been publicly identified – was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Bernhardt, the Upper Darby superintendent, Saturday said that the most “appalling” part of the event was the lack of empathy displayed by the other individuals riding the train.
Investigators are going over the surveillance footage, and police received reports of riders recording video or taking pictures while the rape took place. He said:
I’m just speechless… I don’t know where we are in society that people can’t help other people out in a time of need.