Rail passengers who failed to help a woman who was allegedly raped on a Philadelphia commuter train could face criminal prosecution, police say.
Police have arrested and charged homeless man Fishton Ngoy, 35, with rape after a woman was harassed and sexually assaulted during a 40-minute attack on the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (Septa) train on 13 October.
Authorities have said bystanders stood by and “did nothing” as the assault took place, and that anyone found to have recorded it could face charges.
“I’m appalled by those who did nothing to help this woman,” Timothy Bernhardt, the superintendent of the Upper Darby Township Police Department, told the New York Times.
Mr Bernhardt said the Delaware County district attorney’s office would decide whether anyone would face charges.
The attack was only stopped when a transportation authority employee boarded the train and called 911.
A police officer then ran onto the train and took the suspect into custody.
“What this woman endured at the hands of this guy, what he’s been able to provide for us, it’s been unbelievable,” he added.
“I can tell you that people were holding their phone up in the direction of this woman being attacked,” said Thomas J Nestel III, Septa police chief.
He added: “What we want is everyone to be angry and disgusted and to be resolute about making the system safer.”
The accused man has been arrested and charged for rape and assault, and remains in custody on $180,000 bail.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in