A woman was raped on a train in Pennsylvania last week while other passengers sat silently by, authorities said.
The unnamed victim was onboard a westbound train on the Market-Frankford Line around 10 p.m. Wednesday when she was assaulted by 35-year-old Fiston Ngoy, The New York Times reported, citing the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), which operates the service.
Surveillance footage of the incident showed Ngoy pushing down the victim and ripping her clothes off before he sexually assaulted her, the Upper Darby Police Department (UDPD) was cited as saying by 6 ABC. The victim attempted to push Ngoy away several times, the video showed.
Ngoy, who was unarmed during the encounter, later met police at the 69th Street Transportation Center after a SEPTA employee witnessed the incident and notified authorities.
The man was taken into custody, while his victim was taken to an area hospital, according to UDPD superintendent Timothy Bernhardt.
The victim provided police with information regarding the incident and was “on the mend,” Bernhardt noted.
SEPTA claimed several passengers were on the train at the time of the 8-minute assault, but none of them intervened.
“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 operator said in a statement.
While there were not “dozens of people” in the car at the time, there were enough that “collectively, they could have gotten together and done something,” Bernhardt said.
Footage also showed that it was clear the passengers had an opportunity to intervene, the police superintendent said.
“Anybody that was on that train has to look in the mirror and ask why they didn’t intervene or why they didn’t do something,” Bernhardt said.
Investigators have received reports of some passengers recording the assault on their phones, but police have not confirmed those reports, according to Bernhardt.
The bystanders could be criminally charged if they recorded the attack, but it would be up to the Delaware County district attorney’s office to make such a decision after the police finish their investigation and submit their findings, Bernhardt explained.
It was unclear what charges those bystanders could face.
Ngoy, who was believed to be homeless, was charged with rape, sexual assault and aggravated indecent assault without consent, among others, court records showed. He was being held at the Delaware County Jail in lieu of $180,000 bail.
SEPTA urged those who witnessed the incident to contact police.
“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,” the authority said in its statement.
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