Narrative that bystanders filmed Philadelphia train rape for ‘gratification’ is false: official – National

The narrative that passengers watched a person rape a girl on a practice in suburban Philadelphia final week and “filmed it for their very own gratification as a substitute of calling the police” is fake, the prosecutor dealing with the case mentioned Thursday as he requested witnesses to return ahead.

Delaware County District Lawyer Jack Stollsteimer mentioned throughout a information convention that the opposite passengers on the practice weren’t current for your entire 40-minute interplay on Oct. 13 and will not have understood what they had been seeing.

“Folks get on and off at each single cease,” Stollsteimer mentioned. “That doesn’t imply once they get on and so they see individuals interacting that they know a rape is going on.”

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Stollsteimer’s recount of surveillance video and plea to witnesses got here after days of authorities saying a number of passengers had been current for the assault, with some showing to carry their telephones within the route of the assault as police allege 35-year-old Fiston Ngoy raped the girl in a practice seat.

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Police and Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority officers initially expressed dismay that passengers didn’t name 911 or report the assault, even when they didn’t perceive the seriousness of what was occurring.

Higher Darby Police Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt advised reporters over the weekend there have been passengers current who “ought to have carried out one thing,” in his opinion.

Nonetheless, Stollsteimer mentioned Thursday “the narrative that there’s a group of individuals callously filming and didn’t act, is just not true.” He added that witnesses of the assault might share data with out worry of being charged.

He mentioned Wednesday that Pennsylvania legislation doesn’t permit for the prosecution of somebody for merely witnessing against the law.

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Surveillance video exhibits two passengers holding telephones up towards the assault, Stollsteimer mentioned. A type of individuals supplied video to authorities as a part of the investigation, he mentioned.

Requests by The Related Press for surveillance video from the assault on the Market-Frankford line have been denied by SEPTA, citing the continued prison investigation.

In an arrest affidavit for Ngoy, police mentioned he boarded the practice shortly after the girl, rapidly sitting subsequent to her, and repeatedly tried to the touch and grope her over the subsequent virtually 40 minutes. Investigators say surveillance video additionally exhibits the girl pushing Ngoy away a number of instances.

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Ngoy, who advised police he had seen the girl earlier than and that the sexual encounter was consensual, is charged with rape and a number of other associated offenses and is being held on $180,000 bail. The girl, who was taken to the hospital, mentioned she had by no means met Ngoy and didn’t give him permission to the touch her.

A public defender assigned to symbolize Ngoy declined to remark, saying it was nonetheless very early within the case. A listening to is scheduled for Monday.

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SEPTA Police Chief Thomas J. Nestel III’s finest estimate was there have been about 10 passengers within the shut neighborhood of Ngoy and the girl in the course of the rape, which began about 9:52 p.m. and ended when SEPTA police pulled Ngoy off of the girl about 10 p.m., authority spokesman Andrew Busch mentioned Wednesday.

An off-duty SEPTA worker was a type of 10 individuals. That worker alerted SEPTA police as a result of he believed one thing wasn’t proper with the interplay, Busch mentioned. He praised the worker’s actions, saying he seemingly prevented Ngoy from having the ability to stroll off the practice and escape arrest.

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Three minutes after the worker reported the assault, SEPTA officers stationed on the 69th Road terminal responded to the practice automobile and stopped it.

An arrest for a separate sexual assault on the 69th Road terminal was additionally introduced on the information convention Thursday. Bernhardt mentioned a girl had missed her cease and requested the suspect methods to get to the platform to go in the wrong way. As he confirmed her, Bernhardt mentioned he groped the girl and pushed her right into a seclude space.

A passenger on the platform heard her screams for assist and intervened. SEPTA police in the end stopped the assault and took the person into custody.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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