SEPTA Train Attack: Prosecutors say riders who did not intervene during the alleged sexual assault will not face charges

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The Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer urged anyone who witnessed the rape on the trains of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority to come forward and said in a statement, They don’t have to worry about being sued.

Stollsteimer said: “Although I share the public’s outrage at the possibility of such heinous crimes on the SEPTA public train, I want to reiterate that Pennsylvania law does not allow the prosecution of passengers who may have witnessed a crime.”

“Therefore, any passenger who thinks he might have observed the October 13 incident on the SEPTA train should not be afraid of being prosecuted,” he said. “We encourage you to come forward and share information with law enforcement.”

SEPTA said in a previous statement that the rape case that took place on SEPTA’s Market-Frankford line last Wednesday night called it a “terrible criminal act.” Other people on the train witnessed the incident but did not Notify the authorities.

Authorities say a woman on the SEPTA train was sexually assaulted, while other passengers failed to intervene

A spokesperson for the Public Transport Administration said this week that until a SEPTA employee saw what was happening and dialed 911, a SEPTA Transit police officer boarded the train and detained the suspect.

The district attorney’s statement stated that Stolstein’s office will focus on prosecuting the suspect in the case-previously identified as 35-year-old Fiston M. Ngoy. Court documents show that Ngoi accepted a preliminary arraignment last Thursday on charges of rape, sexual assault, and gross indecent assault.

According to court documents, he was detained in the Delaware County Jail, and the bail was 10% of the $180,000. He is scheduled to hold a preliminary hearing next Monday. This week, CNN was unable to reach Ngoy for comment. It is not clear who his legal representative is.

The district attorney responded to his comments at a press conference on Thursday, telling reporters that people “have no criminal obligation to intervene, nor put themselves in danger to prevent violent crimes from occurring.”

He also rejected the so-called “narrative” of the attack when people stood by and did nothing — or took out their phones to take pictures.

“There is a saying that people are sitting on the El train, watching the process, and shooting videos to please themselves. This is not true at all,” DA said. “It didn’t happen. We have a security video from SEPTA that shows that this is not a true narrative.”

“What actually happened was that a few people observed different parts of the incident when getting on and off the train to 69th Street,” Stollsteiner said. The train is sparsely populated. “We believe that two people may actually use their phones to make a video. One of them may have been an anonymous reporter and notified the SEPTA police station.”

SEPTA officials and the Upper Darby police chief have previously stated that they believed that if others took action, the alleged attack could have stopped.

The affidavit stated that the suspect harassed the victim about half an hour before the rape

At the same time, an affidavit against Ngoy disclosed more details about the alleged assault, indicating that the rape occurred about half an hour after the suspect appeared to harass the victim.

According to the affidavit, the victim told the police in an interview that she had taken the wrong train after drinking a few glasses of beer after work. The affidavit then listed the timetable of the attack based on video surveillance footage.

According to the video, the victim boarded the train at around 9:15 in the evening, and a few minutes later, the suspect was sitting next to her, according to the affidavit. The affidavit stated that at 9:20 in the evening, the suspect began to touch the victim while she “constantly pushed him away.” The affidavit stated that at 9:23 pm, the suspect tried to grab the victim’s left breast and she pushed him away again.

A woman was raped, recorded by bystanders: a story beyond anger

“During this time, the victim was clearly trying to keep him away from her,” the affidavit said.

The document stated that the suspect took off the victim’s pants and took off his pants at 9:52 in the evening. The rape took place in the next 6 minutes, and then SEPTA police entered the train and pulled the suspect off the victim.

SEPTA general manager Leslie Richards told reporters on Monday that the police arrived within three minutes of the employee’s 911 call.

The affidavit stated that the victim was taken to Delaware County Memorial Hospital for treatment, while the suspect was taken to the Upper Darby Police Headquarters and interviewed by the police.

The document stated that the suspect told the police that he had seen the victim before but was not sure of her name. The affidavit stated that he told the police that before the suspect started touching her body, he and the woman started talking and then kissing. The affidavit stated that the suspect stated that the act was consensual.

However, the victim told the police that she did not know the suspect and did not allow him to touch her, the affidavit said.

A second suspected sexual assault was reported at the same location a week later

At a press conference on Thursday, officials described the second suspected sexual assault that occurred at the same SEPTA train station on Wednesday night—a week after the first attack.

Officials said a man was arrested on suspicion of groping and assaulting a female victim. Upper Darby police chief Tim Bernhardt (Tim Bernhardt) said he will be subpoenaed on Thursday. CNN could not reach the man for comment.

According to Bernhardt, the police believed that the victim had missed her stop and approached the man and asked how to enter the other side of the platform. They all walked over, Bernhardt said, “This kind of groping and attack happened.”

In this case, the victim “cried out for help, and a witness helped her,” Stollsteiner said. Bernhardt said that a SEPTA police officer received an alert about the incident and responded.

Bernhardt said that the SEPTA police notified the Upper Darby police of the attack. Bernhardt said that when the Upper Darby police arrived at the scene, the SEPTA police had already detained the man.

Eric Levenson of CNN contributed to this report.


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