Alleged Sex Assault on SEPTA El Train

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A 36-year-old woman alleges that she became the victim of a sexual assault on the SEPTA elevated Market-Frankford line. But instead of detaining the suspect officers let the guy go -- find out why. (Published Wednesday, Jul 14, 2010)

    On her way home on the Frankford El Tuesday night, a woman -- who wants her identity protected -- said she became a victim of a sexual assault on the train.

    “I was totally minding my business and this man just took something from me that he had no business taking at all.”

    The alleged victim explained what happened on the train between the York-Dauphin and Somerset stations to NBC Philadelphia’s Doug Shimell.

    “This man that was sitting in front of me distinctly turned around and put his hands in between my legs,” she said.

    The 36-year-old woman pushed the stranger away and began screaming at him as they approached the Allegheny stop, she said.

    The man, who smelled like alcohol, according to the woman, said he was sorry for touching her. He told her that he thought she was his girlfriend, she said.

    What happened when the distraught women left the train is now calling into question the response to her allegations.

    Two Philadelphia Police officers on the platform heard the yelling and one apprehended the man -- who was reportedly turned over to SEPTA police.

    The woman gave her statement to the SEPTA cops, she said. The transit authority police called Philly Police’s Special Victims Unit about what to do with the suspect.

    SEPTA claimed that they were told that it was standard policy to get the man’s identification then let him go.

    “I really thought that they would lock him up and it took me by surprise because they let him go,” she said.

    The woman wanted to share her story so that the public would know what could happen.

    “I feel as though he has done this before,” the woman said. “It was just that easy and he was too calm…for him not to have never done it before.”

    But the alleged suspect isn’t free of possible charges.

    Police have the suspect’s name and were looking into pressing charges, they said.