Fiston Ngoy, who police have accused of sexually assaulting a woman on a Philadelphia commuter train, insists the rape was consensual.

According to authorities, the woman boarded a train on the Market-Frankford line, bound toward the town of Upper Darby, at around 9:15 p.m. on Wednesday night. She was reportedly on her way home, having stopped for a few beers after she left work.

A minute later, Ngoy, 35, boarded the train, according to court documents. Police believe that Ngoy sat next to his victim before repeatedly accosting her verbally.


Investigators said that the victim asked Ngoy to go away several times, which he ignored, for up to 45 minutes. Court documents say that Ngoy then began his violent attack.

Several disturbing reports indicate that, while many had witnessed the rape unfold — and some had even begun recording with their cell phones — none of the other commuters on the train helped the woman during the harrowing attack.

The only witness to even notify the police was an off-duty employee of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA).

“The assault was observed by a SEPTA employee, who called 911, enabling SEPTA officers to respond immediately and apprehend the suspect in the act,” said SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch in a statement.

Upper Darby Police Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt said that the vicious attack was caught on the train’s surveillance footage — as was the inaction of the other passengers.

“It’s disturbing,” he said. “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.”

“There was a lot of people in my opinion that should have intervened, somebody should have done something,” he continued. “It speaks to where we are in society and who would allow something like that to take place. So it’s troubling.”

“We want everyone to be angry, disgusted, and to join us in being resolute in keeping our system safe,” said Transit Police Chief Thomas Nestel III in a Monday press conference. “We need to the public to notify us when they see something that seems to be unusual.”

Homeless man Fiston Ngoy, 35, was charged with rape after police say he attacked a woman on a SEPTA train near Philadelphia Wednesday. Ngoy says the encounter was consensual.
Homeless man Fiston Ngoy, 35, was charged with rape after police say he attacked a woman on a SEPTA train near Philadelphia Wednesday. Ngoy says the encounter was consensual, but police say security footage shows otherwise. Photo credit: Delaware County Jail

Fiston Ngoy Insists Rape was ‘Consensual’

Ngoy was taken into custody Wednesday and is reportedly still jailed, being unable or unwilling to pay his $18,000 bail. He was charged with rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault and related counts, and is due back in an Upper Darby court on Oct. 25 for a preliminary hearing. He does not appear to have retained a lawyer.

In court documents first revealed Monday, police said that Ngoy told them he recognized his victim when he saw her on the train, and that the sexual contact they had was consensual. He said that his victim was the one to initiate the encounter, and that she did not rebuff his advances.

But a statement she gave from Delaware County Memorial Hospital after the attack, the victim told police that she had never seen Ngoy before — and the train’s surveillance footage backed up her account of the violent rape.

“Throughout this time, the victim is obviously struggling with keeping him off of her,” said police in a court affidavit.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the most recent address for Fiston Ngoy is Broad Street Ministry, a Philadelphia outreach center for the homeless. A spokesperson for Broad Street Ministry declined to give the Inquirer a comment, and said she could not confirm whether Ngoy had received services there.