Charges unlikely for riders who saw Philadelphia train rape, didn’t intervene

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SEPTA General Manager Leslie Richards speaks during a news conference as SEPTA Transit Police Chief Thomas Nestel III stands behind her on an El platform at the 69th Street Transportation Center, Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, in Philadelphia, following a brutal rape on the El, as other riders watched, over the weekend. They discussed the emergency call boxes on SEPTA trains and how to properly contact police from the trains. (Tom Gralish/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

PHILADELPHIA —Prosecutors pursuing the case against a man accused of raping a woman on a commuter train last week don’t anticipate charging fellow passengers for not intervening, a spokesperson for the suburban Philadelphia district attorney said.

Requests for surveillance video from the Oct. 13 attack on the Market-Frankford line Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority train have been denied, citing the ongoing criminal investigation.

It remained unclear exactly how many other passengers were in the vicinity and whether they actually witnessed or recorded what happened.

More than two dozen train stops passed as the man harassed, groped and eventually raped the woman, the police chief for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority said at a news conference Monday.

Police do not believe a single witness on the train dialed 911. They are investigating whether some bystanders filmed the assault.

In an interview Tuesday with radio station WPHT, SEPTA Police Chief Thomas J. Nestel III, said “as many as 10 people” may have seen some part of the attack.

Fiston Ngoy, 35, has been charged with rape, aggravated indecent assault and related counts, according to Delaware County court record

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