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Passengers Who Allegedly Filmed Rape On Train Could Be Charged

by : Julia Banim on : 19 Oct 2021 19:26
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Passengers aboard a Pennsylvania transit train who reportedly filmed the alleged assault of a woman without attempting to intervene could be charged.

The unnamed woman was attacked at approximately 11.00pm on Wednesday, October 13, while travelling on a Septa train along the south-eastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Market–Frankford line.

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The assailant, named as 35-year-old Fiston Ngoy, sat beside the woman and attempted to begin a conversation with her. He then became aggressive, trying to touch her even as she pushed him away. Eventually, Ngoy reportedly proceeded to tear off the woman’s clothes and rape her.

Authorities have said there were fewer than a dozen passengers present at the time of the assault, but that this figure had still been ‘sufficient to intervene’. None of the witnesses present that night attempted to call 911 or seek intervention, according to officers.

A Septa employee who witnessed the attack called 911, with authorities responding within three minutes.
Once at the scene, officers were able to pull Ngoy off the woman before the train had reached its final stop.

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The assault was reportedly recorded on Septa’s surveillance cameras, and investigators are now looking into whether or not some bystanders actually filmed the rape on their phones rather than do anything to stop it.

As reported by BBC News, Septa police chief Thomas J Nestel III said:

I can tell you that people were holding their phone up in the direction of this woman being attacked. What we want is everyone to be angry and disgusted and to be resolute about making the system safer.

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Septa has since issued a statement about this ‘horrendous criminal act’, encouraging people to report such incidents to authorities going forward, either by dialling 911, pushing the train’s emergency button or by using emergency safety apps. ‘There were other people on the train who witnessed this horrific act, and it may have been stopped sooner if a rider called 911,’ the company said in a statement.

Superintendent of the Upper Darby Police Department, Timothy Bernhardt, said bystanders who failed to intervene may face criminal charges if it’s discovered that they recorded the incident, The New York Times reports.

Bernhardt explained that a final decision regarding these potential criminal charges will lie with the Delaware County district attorney’s office once investigations are complete.

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Although the potential charges faced by witnesses haven’t been specified, Bernhardt added that it would be ‘very difficult to bring charges against those’ who failed to help the woman.

Ngoy has since been arrested and faces charges of rape and assault. He currently remains in custody on $180,000 (£130,000) bail and will appear before the court on Monday October 25.

Following the assault, the woman was taken to hospital where she has been treated for her injuries.

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If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 between 12pm–2.30pm and 7pm– 9.30pm every day. Alternatively, you can contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, Pennsylvania

Credits

BBC News and 1 other
  1. BBC News

    Police warn charges possible for bystanders who failed to report rape

  2. The New York Times

    As a Woman Was Raped, Train Riders Failed to Intervene, Police Say