Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer denied claims that witnesses filmed the alleged rape, declaring that it was “simply not true.”
“There is a narrative out there that people sat there on the El train and watched this transpire and took videos of it for their own gratification,” Stollsteimer said Thursday. “That is simply not true. It did not happen. We have security video from SEPTA that shows that is not the true narrative.”
The man who is accused of raping a woman on a Philadelphia train as onlookers allegedly videoed the assault is reportedly an illegal Congolese immigrant who has been previously charged with sexual abuse and should have been deported in 2015.
The train was reportedly full of bystanders who watched and filmed the rape on board a Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) train near the suburb of Upper Darby. No one called 911 or the police.
“When the doors opened, an officer entered and saw what he believed was a criminal act occurring,” SEPTA Transit Police Chief Thomas Nestel III said. “He ripped that man off her and pulled him out onto the platform.”
“As many as 10 people actually saw some part of the attack on this rider,” Nestel told Philadelphia radio station WPHT.
He noted, “We were watching to see if somebody put a phone up to their ear indicating they might be calling 911. Instead, what we saw was people holding their phone up as if they were recording or taking pictures.”
(Video Credit: CBS New York)
“It may have been stopped sooner if a rider called 911,” SEPTA spokesman John Golden remarked in a statement.
Fiston Ngoy, 35, was arrested and charged with rape and assault on Wednesday.
He entered the United States on a student visa in 2012 but remained in the country after it expired in 2015. Court records indicate that Ngoy had multiple arrests and two misdemeanor convictions, one for controlled substances and one for sexual abuse.
He pleaded guilty to the sexual abuse charge in 2017 in Washington, DC, and received 120 days in jail for it. Following that stint, he was placed in immigration detention in January 2018. Ngoy was never deported because he was granted a “withholding of removal” by a judge in March of 2019 after an appeals board found that his sexual abuse charge was not a “serious crime.”
Ngoy has been free since that time and only checked in periodically with Immigration and Customs Enforcement under an order of supervision.
The rape occurred shortly after 9 p.m. on October 13 according to authorities.
Ngoy claims to live in a homeless shelter in Philadelphia. He asserts that he knew the woman and that he went over to speak to her, according to the affidavit of probable cause for his arrest which was obtained by The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The woman claims that she had never seen Ngoy before he approached and then assaulted her. She contends that she remembers getting on the train but doesn’t remember anything after that until the police pulled Ngoy off of her. She stated that she had drunk several beers after work and then got on the wrong train.
The alleged victim repeatedly pushed Ngoy away. One video shows he groped her and grabbed her breast according to the New York Times. He eventually ripped off her clothes and raped her. The assault went on for approximately 40 minutes according to the arrest affidavit.
“Throughout this time, the victim is obviously struggling with keeping him off of her,” investigators reported in the affidavit.
“It’s disturbing that there were definitely people on the L, and no one intervened or did anything to help this woman out,” Upper Darby Police Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt remarked to NBC 10. “I have no words for it. I just can’t imagine seeing what you were seeing through your own eyes and seeing what this woman was going through that no one would step in and help her.”
“I’m appalled by those who did nothing to help this woman,” Bernhardt told the New York Times. “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.”
The woman was treated at a nearby hospital for injuries resulting from the attack.
Video surveillance of the assault is being reviewed to determine who witnessed the rape.
SEPTA called the incident a “horrendous criminal act” in a released statement.
“The assault was observed by a SEPTA employee, who called 911, enabling SEPTA officers to respond immediately and apprehend the suspect in the act,” commented SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch.
“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 urges anyone who observes a crime being committed or any dangerous situation occurring to report it. Anyone witnessing an emergency should immediately call 911,” he urged.
Ngoy is being held at the Delaware County Prison and his bail is set at $180,000, according to court records. He is scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing on Oct. 25 at 9 a.m.
There is widespread rage over the attack and the fact that he was an illegal immigrant:
Not trying to deflect, this is a prime reason why law and order should take precedence over emotional arguments for illegal immigrants, the same way as if he was a citizen he should have been in prison the first time long ago.
— jessica (@Chun_Jessica_Li) October 20, 2021
I can’t believe no one in a group of bystanders couldn’t do anything to help , men are at their most vulnerable when their pants are down ! Kick that shit it the ass !
— Lizanne Campbell (@LizanneCampbel3) October 20, 2021
— Moses Thunderpants (@8ryz4wnq9x) October 20, 2021
Speechless. Those 10 people should be charged with failing to stop and/or report a crime. I’d also sue the crap out of the judge who didn’t deport him. That poor women she’ll never be able to trust anyone or get on a train again
— Matt Lucas (@MatthewJLucas) October 20, 2021
This is the outcome of far leftist policies. Your politicians have sold you for outsiders.
— Vik Shaw (@PrnceVikas) October 20, 2021
Disturbing that our judges consistently send predators back out on the streets because they are not violent enough.
An illegal, if found guilty of a crime, should be immediately deported with no option to return.
— CMille (@CMille914) October 20, 2021
If @PressSec isn’t asked about this at the podium given their immigration policies, the media is even more despicable than I thought… @FoxNews @ABC @CBSNews @NBCNews @AP @NewsHour @NRO @Commentary @WSJ @washingtonpost @CNN @jaketapper
— Sean Gibson (@SeanGibson5) October 20, 2021
— All New wacky conspiracy theories🤔 (@KarenJCurry1) October 20, 2021
I just want to tell all you big city dwellers who sneer at small town America. WE sure in the HELL would not have ‘just’ filmed this. Bloody cowards.
— DFC (@twifan_nana) October 20, 2021
Yes, exactly. Those who are rabidly pushing for a public transportation takeover and getting rid of cars, absolutely refuse to acknowledge that trains are not safe for women.
— The Dusky-Hued Lady Satan (@saranimals25) October 20, 2021
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