Philadelphia Train Riders Failed to Intervene as Woman was Allegedly Raped, Authorities Say

Bystanders failed to help a woman from being raped on a transit train in Philadelphia last week or to call police, authorities said.

The alleged incident, described as a “horrendous criminal act,” occurred on the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s (SEPTA) Market-Frankford Line at 11 p.m. on Oct. 13.

Video surveillance footage captured the entire sexual assault and showed that passengers “did nothing,” officials said.

“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 said in a statement.

SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel said at a press conference on Oct. 18 that SEPTA Police only got one call regarding the incident and Philadelphia 911 received no calls.

Nestel added that he had not heard back from Delaware County 911.

An employee called 911 after boarding the train and saw the assault in progress, SEPTA Spokesperson Andrew Busch said.

“The officer located the suspect and the victim, and took the suspect into custody,” Busch further said.

The suspect has been identified as Fiston Ngoy, 35, and he faces charges of rape and several other criminal charges.

Investigators are also looking into whether bystanders filmed the incident when it took place over the course of more than 40 minutes.

According to Nestel, witnesses had their phones in their hands “in the direction of this woman being attacked.”

However, a spokesperson for the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office told BBC News that “at the present time, there is no expectation that charges will be brought against any passengers.”

It is unclear how many passengers were in the train car when the incident occurred.

SEPTA released a video on Oct. 19 urging passengers to report suspicious activity following the incident.

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