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Sexual assault for anyone can be an extremely traumatizing experience with lasting psychological effects that can take years to recover from, if ever.

One unfortunate woman in Philadelphia not only had to endure being raped on a commuter train but also ended up being assaulted on a whole other level after witnesses thought it was more important to record the attack rather than intervene and stop it from happening altogether.


The heinous crime occurred last Wednesday in North Philadelphia, with authorities saying a man harassed the woman for more than 40 minutes as he groped and eventually raped her while dozens held their phones up. Police say they don’t believe one person tried to dial 911.

Read more details in the case below, via AP News:

“Both the man and woman got on the train at the same stop Wednesday night in North Philadelphia. Officers pulled the man off of the woman at the last stop. They responded within about three minutes of a 911 call from a transportation authority employee, authorities said.

“What we want is everyone to be angry and disgusted and to be resolute about making the system safer,” SEPTA Police Chief Thomas J. Nestel III said at the news conference.

Arrest records show Fiston Ngoy, 35, was charged with rape and related offenses.

The affidavit of arrest for Ngoy detailed times of the assault, including that during those 40 minutes the woman appears to repeatedly push Ngoy away.”

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Although authorities have yet to release the surveillance video, Nestel confirms witnesses were in fact present and chose not to help, adding in his statement, “I can tell you that people were holding their phone up in the direction of this woman being attacked.” The victim was approached by her attacker just after 9:15PM, and the actual assault began once he started ripping her pants down at around 9:52PM. Police intervened roughly around 10PM after entering the SEPTA’s busy 69th Street terminal.

After his arrest, accused attacker Fiston Ngoy told police that he actually knew the victim and it was a consensual act although he had trouble remembering her name. He’s currently in custody on $180,000 bail.

While many of us who commute regularly can admit to seeing something and choosing the “not my business” approach, there comes a point where common human decency should kick in without question or reservation to help someone that’s being physically, verbally and/or sexually assaulted. Let us know your opinions.



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Philadelphia Woman Raped On Train While Onlookers Recorded Without Helping  was originally published on