A suspected rapist on a train just outside Philadelphia victimized a woman for more than 40 minutes last week while fellow passengers did nothing to stop the attack, reports local media.
Investigators believe that instead of intervening, some riders recorded the alleged rape on their smartphones.
It’s not clear if any even took the time to contact 911 and report the incident. In fact, it didn’t stop until a transportation authority employee called it in.
Again, the assault went on for approximately 40 minutes.
“I can tell you that people were holding their phone up in the direction of this woman being attacked,” Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) Police Chief Thomas J. Nestel III said at a recent news conference.
Police estimate that there were as many as two dozen idle onlookers on the train.
“What we want everyone to be is angry, disgusted and join us in being resolute to continue to make the system safe. We need help from the public to notify us when they see incidents that are occurring that are unusual,” Nestel said.
“We want people to be our partners and to watch out for other riders,” he continued.
Police identified the perp as Fiston Ngoy, 35, a homeless immigrant on an expired student visa.
Ngoy is claiming that the encounter was “consensual.” However, he is now in jail facing charges for rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, and additional related counts.
Bail has been set at $180,000.
Ngoy has had previous run-ins with the law, including “multiple arrests and two misdemeanor convictions, one for controlled substances and one for sexual abuse,” according to court records obtained by Fox News.
After spending 120 days in prison and serving nine months on probation, he was put in immigration detention in Jan. 2018. Instead of being deported, the Board of Immigration Appeals in March of 2019 determined Ngoy’s sex offense was not a “serious crime” and he was released back out onto the streets.
Ngoy is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 25.
Upon reflection, local police Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt was disheartened by the fact that no one came to the woman’s rescue.
“There was a lot of people in my opinion that should have intervened, somebody should have done something,” Bernhardt said on Saturday. “It speaks to where we are in society and who would allow something like that to take place. So it’s troubling.”