Authorities said that a man was accused of raping a woman on a commuter train outside Philadelphia and harassing her for more than 40 minutes. Many people raised their mobile phones without intervening and seemed to have recorded the attack. The director of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Bureau said at a press conference on Monday that the man harassed, fumbled and eventually raped the woman, passing more than 20 train stations.
The police did not believe that a witness on the train called 911. They are investigating whether any bystanders filmed the attack. On Wednesday night, both men and women boarded the train at the same station in North Philadelphia. The police pulled the man off the woman at the last stop. The authorities said they responded within three minutes of a 911 call from an employee of the transportation department.
SEPTA Police Chief Thomas J. Nestel III said at the press conference: “What we want is everyone to feel angry and disgusted, and resolutely make the system safer.” Ngoy’s arrest testimony detailed the time of the attack, including during those 40 minutes, the woman appeared to repeatedly push Ngoy away. Nestlé will not provide an approximate number of witnesses, and it is not clear from the affidavit how many passengers were present during the 40 minutes. The authorities did not release surveillance video. He said: “I can tell you that people are holding up their phones in the direction where this woman was attacked.”
Elizabeth Jellick, a professor of psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, studies sexual violence prevention. She said that if people feel uncomfortable with physical intervention, there are other options, such as calling the police. “When we have multiple people, people don’t necessarily intervene,” she said.
“However, recent research actually shows that looking at more extreme video clips, we do see that as many as 90% of the cases were actually intervened. Therefore, in this case, someone did not stand up to help this person , This is actually a bit abnormal.” Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt of the Upper Darby Police Department said that surveillance video showed other passengers on the train and someone “should do something”. News of Bernhardt was left on Monday.
The New York Times reported that Bernhardt said that those who recorded the attack but failed to intervene may be charged, but this will be determined by the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office. No one in Philadelphia called 911. Nestlé said the police are still waiting for the Delaware County 911 call, which covers the last two train stops, to determine if it has received any calls. The investigator stated in the affidavit that Ngoy sat next to the woman shortly after 9:15 in the evening, about a minute after boarding the train carriage. The video showed that she pushed him away several times until around 9:52 in the evening when someone saw him tearing off her pants.