Train riders held up phones as woman was raped, police say


SEPTA Transit Police Chief Thomas Nestel III, seen through window at left, stands by following a news conference on an El platform at the 69th Street Transportation Center, Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, in Philadelphia, following a brutal rape on the El over the weekend. SEPTA subway elevated Chief Officer Chrystalle Hooper, center, demonstrates the emergency call boxes on SEPTA trains and how to properly contact police from their cars. (Tom Gralish/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Authorities say a man charged with raping a woman on a commuter train just outside of Philadelphia harassed her for more than 40 minutes while multiple people held up their phones to seemingly record the assault without intervening.

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

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

Officers responded within about three minutes of a 911 call from a transportation authority employee at the train’s last stop.

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