Jan 3, 2023
Passengers on a moving train in suburban Philadelphia stood by as a woman was raped by a stranger, failing to even call 911, according to police. The survivor was sexually assaulted Wednesday at approximately 10 p.m. on the westbound train traveling along the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) Market-Frankford Line.
The Associated Press (AP) reported that Upper Darby Police Department officers were called to the 69th street terminal after a SEPTA employee who was in the vicinity at a nearby stop alerted authorities that “something wasn’t right” as the train travelled past.
SEPTA police located the sexual assault survivor and arrested the perpetrator, identified as Fiston Ngoy, 35, in the act. The woman was reportedly taken to a local hospital.
Police Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt called the survivor an “unbelievably strong woman” according to the AP. The woman did not know her attacker but reportedly provided police with substantial information.
“She’s on the mend,” Bernhardt told the AP. “Hopefully she will get through this.”
The sexual assault, which reportedly lasted nearly eight minutes, was captured on surveillance video. Said video displayed the survivor’s fellow passengers failing to take any action. Not a single passenger on the train called 911 or intervened in any way.
“I’m shocked, 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,” Bernhardt told the Independent.
“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 … There was a lot of people, in my opinion, that should have intervened; somebody should have done something,” Bernhardt told the AP. “It speaks to where we are in society; I mean, who would allow something like that to take place? So it’s troubling.”
Slate.com indicated that police are investigating reports that some of the bystanders may have taken photos or videos of the sexual assault. According to Superintendent Bernhardt, anyone who recorded the attack but failed to intervene could be charged. For those who simply failed to take action, he told Slate it would be “very difficult to bring charges” against mere bystanders.
Delaware County Court records indicate that the surveillance video provided enough evidence for authorities to charge Ngoy with rape, aggravated indecent assault, and related counts.
SEPTA issued a public statement calling the sexual assault a “horrendous criminal act” and encouraging any eyewitness to the incident to immediately contact authorities.
“There were other people on the train who witnessed this horrific act, and it may have been stopped sooner if a rider called 911,” the transportation authority said.
Sadly, the vast majority of sexual assaults are never reported to the police. As Dordulian Law Group’s (DLG) partner organization, RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), reports, only 310 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are ever reported to authorities (meaning more than two out of three go unreported).
And, as RAINN’s data indicates, underreporting of sexual assault actually impacts survivors of all ages. For college-age females, students have a 20% reporting average while non-students report approximately 32% of the time.
The elderly report around 28% of the time while female members of the military are known to report at a rate of 43% and male military members at a rate of 10%.
For sexual violence crimes not reported to police from 2005-2010, RAINN’s data indicates the survivor offered the following reasons for not doing so:
Preventing sexual assault can be achieved through both education and action. The more survivors who come forward, the more likely justice will be obtained in either criminal or civil court. Civil claims are an entirely separate option offering survivors an opportunity to recover financial compensation against their perpetrators.
If you are a survivor of sexual assault, you may be entitled to substantial financial compensation. Dordulian Law Group’s (DLG) trusted and proven sexual assault attorneys can help you file a claim in pursuit of a maximum financial damages award for various losses, such as:
Founded by former sex crimes prosecutor and Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County, Sam Dordulian, DLG is the nation’s leading sexual assault firm helping survivors obtain the justice they deserve. We will fight to secure justice and recover maximum financial compensation on your behalf.
When Dordulian founded DLG, his goal was to create the elite, top-rated, and premier sex crimes firm offering survivors of sexual assault a unique and all-encompassing form of representation and support that features added advantages.
Accordingly, Dordulian comprised a hand-picked team of professionals (each one offering a unique resource or specialty) known as the DLG SAJE Team (Sexual Assault Justice Experts).
DLG’s SAJE Team is available 24/7 to survivors as a four-tiered support network:
In addition to our unique and all-encompassing SAJE Team, DLG provides survivors with the utmost respect, discretion, professionalism, and dedication. We know how difficult it can be to come forward and report a sexual assault incident, and we’re here to listen, to believe, and to support survivors in their pursuit of justice.
Our unparalleled experience and proven results are why sexual assault survivors throughout the nation consistently choose DLG to handle their claims, obtain justice, and recover maximum financial compensation on their behalf:
Contact us today online or by phone at 818-322-4056 for a free and no obligation consultation. We’ll listen to the facts of your case (the DLG team believes survivors), launch a thorough investigation led by our SAJE Team member and in-house Chief Investigator, Moses Castillo, and develop an aggressive but precise legal strategy based on our decades of experience and past results. We’ll fight to ensure you recover the maximum financial damages award you deserve for your sexual assault claim.
Additionally, our No Win/No Fee Guarantee means survivors never have to worry about paying any upfront costs or out-of-pocket expenses when securing the trusted, proven, and best legal representation available. DLG accepts each case on a contingency fee basis, and you do not pay anything until we recover maximum financial compensation for you.
Contact us today to learn more about your legal options and how we can help you obtain the justice you deserve for your sexual assault claim.
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and personal injury concerns.