The narrative that passengers watched a person rape a lady on a practice in suburban Philadelphia final week and “filmed it for their very own gratification as an alternative of calling the police” is fake, the prosecutor dealing with the case stated Thursday as he requested witnesses to come back ahead.
Delaware County District Legal professional Jack Stollsteimer stated throughout a information convention that the opposite passengers on the practice weren’t current for the whole 40-minute interplay on Oct. 13 and will not have understood what they have been seeing.
“Individuals get on and off at each single cease,” Stollsteimer stated. “That doesn’t imply once they get on they usually see folks interacting that they know a rape is going on.”
Stollsteimer’s recount of surveillance video and plea to witnesses got here after days of authorities saying a number of passengers have been current for the assault, with some showing to carry their telephones within the course of the assault as police allege 35-year-old Fiston Ngoy raped the lady in a practice seat.
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 instructed reporters over the weekend there have been passengers current who “ought to have completed one thing,” in his opinion.
However, Stollsteimer stated 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 may share info with out worry of being charged.
He stated Wednesday that Pennsylvania legislation doesn’t enable for the prosecution of somebody for merely witnessing against the law.
Surveillance video reveals two passengers holding telephones up towards the assault, Stollsteimer stated. A kind of folks offered video to authorities as a part of the investigation, he stated.
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 stated he boarded the practice shortly after the lady, shortly sitting subsequent to her, and repeatedly tried to the touch and grope her over the following nearly 40 minutes. Investigators say surveillance video additionally reveals the lady pushing Ngoy away a number of instances.
Ngoy, who instructed police he had seen the lady earlier than and that the sexual encounter was consensual, is charged with rape and several other associated offenses and is being held on $180,000 bail. The lady, who was taken to the hospital, stated she had by no means met Ngoy and didn’t give him permission to the touch her.
A public defender assigned to characterize 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 lady throughout the rape, which began about 9:52 p.m. and ended when SEPTA police pulled Ngoy off of the lady about 10 p.m., authority spokesman Andrew Busch stated Wednesday.
An off-duty SEPTA worker was a type of 10 folks. That worker alerted SEPTA police as a result of he believed one thing wasn’t proper with the interplay, Busch stated. He praised the worker’s actions, saying he seemingly prevented Ngoy from having the ability to stroll off the practice and escape arrest.
Three minutes after the worker reported the assault, SEPTA officers stationed on the 69th Avenue terminal responded to the practice automotive and stopped it.
An arrest for a separate sexual assault on the 69th Avenue terminal was additionally introduced on the information convention Thursday. Bernhardt stated a lady had missed her cease and requested the suspect find out how to get to the platform to go in the wrong way. As he confirmed her, Bernhardt stated he groped the lady 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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