Judge: No duty to help NY Subway Rape Victim

Judge: No duty to help NY Subway Rape Victim

This is a discussion on Judge: No duty to help NY Subway Rape Victim within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; She cried rape ? and no one helped - TODAY People She cried rape — and no one helped Woman attacked on subway platform as ...

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Thread: Judge: No duty to help NY Subway Rape Victim

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Judge: No duty to help NY Subway Rape Victim

    She cried rape ? and no one helped - TODAY People

    She cried rape — and no one helped
    Woman attacked on subway platform as workers looked on

    By Mike Celizic
    TODAYShow.com contributor
    updated 6:33 a.m. PT, Wed., April 8, 2009

    The young woman had been attacked in full view of a New York City subway clerk, then dragged down the steps onto a deserted platform where she was raped and raped again, the assailant not stopping even when a subway train pulled into the station.

    Now, after nearly four years of constant nightmares, bouts of depression and anxiety, the woman has been told by a judge that two transit workers who saw her being attacked had no obligation to do anything to help her other than to signal their superiors that police were needed at the station.

    In response, the woman, who asks to be identified only by her first name, Maria, is going public with her story in the hope that something will be done to save other women from enduring a similar nightmare.

    “Hearing the decision about the case — it broke my heart. It really broke my heart,” the 26-year-old told TODAY’s Meredith Vieira Wednesday in an exclusive broadcast interview in New York. “I was really hoping that changes would be made, that other women taking the subway out there could feel safe and secure. The subway is raising their fares and spending even less money on security.”

    The former graduate student said she didn’t expect the ticket clerk to leave the safety of his booth or the conductor of the train that stopped at — and left — the station during her attack to jump off his train to aid her.

    “He could have just gotten over the intercom and said, ‘Hey! Stop what you’re doing! I’ve called the cops!’ Anything like that would have helped,” she said. “He didn’t have to get out of the booth. I don’t expect him to be a police officer. But he could have definitely said something over the intercom, or perhaps having a quicker system of notifying the police would have been effective, too.”
    Maria, a native of Russia who came to the United States at the age of 7, was 22 years old and two days shy of her birthday when she was attacked. She was a graduate student at NYU looking forward to a career as a writer when she took the Queens-bound G train to visit her boyfriend in Brooklyn in the early morning of June 7, 2005.

    It was shortly after 2 a.m. and the car nearly deserted as Maria occupied herself during the trip by listening to music on her headphones and writing in her journal.

    “The second I realized something was terribly wrong was that I felt someone touching my feet,” she told Vieira, reliving again the terrifying attack. “I just thought someone had brushed me with their foot, and I noticed that the only person sitting in the subway was sitting in a place where they could not touch my feet. So I realized it was someone touching me with their hands.”

    Missed her stop
    The train pulled into her station, but, she said, “When I attempted to get off the train, this person touched my feet again, and when I turned back to yell at him, I ended up missing my stop. Then I was alone in the subway car. I was terrified. I couldn’t wait to get off the train at the next station, and just run away from him.”
    Maria got off at the next station — 21st Street in Long Island City in Queens. She sprinted for the staircase that led from the platform to the upper level. As she reached the top of the stairs, she saw a clerk in the attendant’s booth. At the same time, her attacker caught her, wrapped her in a bear hug, and started to carry her bodily back to the deserted platform.

    She told the judge in the civil suit she filed against the Metropolitan Transit Authority that she and the clerk looked at each other for a full five seconds.

    “I actually was thinking, ‘Oh, thank god, I’m saved. Someone’s here that can help me. This is going to be done in no time and I’m finally safe,’ ” she told Vieira.

    The clerk pushed a button that notifies central command that a police officer is needed. Maria said he could have gotten on the intercom and scared the attacker off. But he did nothing else as she was carried to the bottom of the stairs screaming and crying.

    Threatening her life
    “After he pulled me down the stairs, he proceeded to rape me at the bottom of the stairwell,” Maria said. “I was screaming and crying and begging him to stop. He said, ‘If you continue screaming, I’m going to have to do something.’ I couldn’t stop crying, so then he took me by the scruff of my neck and my jacket and put me over the tracks, like a 45-degree angle, and said, ‘Don’t scream again or I’m going to let go.’ ”

    During the attack, another train pulled in and departed. She caught the eye of the train’s conductor. He, too, notified the command center that police were needed. But he didn’t stop the train or do anything else to stop the rape.

    At the civil trial, the judge who ruled for the MTA concluded that the clerk and conductor “had taken prompt and decisive action” in calling for help and had complied with work rules.
    The MTA issued a statement that said, “It is important to note that while NYC Transit workers are trained to the highest degree of professionalism in their assigned jobs, they are not and should not be expected to perform in the capacity of law enforcement officers.”

    “I was never expecting them to be police officers,” she told Vieira. “They could have stayed in their booth and gone over on the loudspeaker and said something. In terms of it being prompt, by the time the cops had actually got there, 10 minutes later, I had been assaulted twice.”

    As the police arrived, the assailant fled the station and has never been apprehended.

    After the assault, Maria attempted to continue to work toward a graduate degree. But she had panic attacks when she rode the subway and had to quit school. She is still in intensive therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
    But she has found that speaking out has been therapeutic.

    “The most important thing for me was breaking the silence and telling my story, because it was just haunting me and eating away at me. I was kind of a zombie, walking around with this enormous weight on my shoulders and blaming myself,” Maria said. “The more I got to speak out about my story, the better I felt. The most wonderful thing was that other women would start to come forward about their own stories that they had never told anyone else.”

    She said she has forgiven her attacker, but not the MTA.

    “Unfortunately, the man who assaulted me was obviously mentally ill and psychotic,” Maria said. “He probably had no basis of reality. He didn’t have a conscience, but the transit worker did. He was a human being capable of feeling emotions as I was. I just felt that it was so coldhearted and just completely abominable to basically look the other way.”

    Maria’s lawyer, Marc Albert, joined her on TODAY and told Vieira he’s not done fighting.

    “We’re going to appeal,” Albert said. “The transit authority claimed to be training their workers. There’s no training going on here and there’s no system in place. We certainly will be appealing.”
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Paco's Avatar
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    the woman has been told by a judge that two transit workers who saw her being attacked had no obligation to do anything to help her other than to signal their superiors that police were needed at the station.
    I can't even read any further than this, it just makes me sick! They have a moral obligation, IMO, as a human to help another human while they are being attacked.
    "Don't hit a man if you can possibly avoid it; but if you do hit him, put him to sleep." - Theodore Roosevelt

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  3. #3
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    A real man wouldn't stand for that.

    I don't care what a judge has to say about it.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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    I can't believe these guys. Even if I didn't have 3 daughters, I still would have helped any woman in that situation. This was painful to read.
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  5. #5
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    This makes my blood boil!
    Dirtbags who do these types of crimes deserve the death penalty.
    The transit authority employees who refuse to do anything need to be replaced...
    I hope this lady's attorney eventually succeeds in removing millions from the city's coffers.
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    Absolutely disgusting!!
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    Senior Member Array Katana's Avatar
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    I'm sitting here in my daughters bathroom watching her play and splash in her tub as I read this. The only thing I can think of is what kind of heartless, spineless ******* could just sit there and watch a woman being dragged away by some (gotta censor myself here or I'll get in trouble), knowing full well that she is someone's daughter, someone's mother, or someone's sister.

    My blood is boiling to say the least...
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  8. #8
    VIP Member Array Pikachu711's Avatar
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    Whatever happened to people just doing the right thing? It's stories like this that makes my start getting angry at people who just "don't want to get involved." Make me sick sometimes.
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  9. #9
    VIP Member Array grady's Avatar
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    Sickening.

    Where have all the heroes gone?
    Where have the real men gone?
    Where has common decency gone?
    Where has concern for our fellow man and woman gone?

    Was there no one who would take a few minutes out of their day to help a woman being raped? Staying in a booth or train and not getting involved, while someone is being raped, is acceptable because one called the police? Then one can go on about one's life and ignore the cries? Have we sunk this low as a nation?

    I'm at a loss for words.

    In some parts of the country, the law of the jungle is upon us.

    Because of this story, I am more likely to get involved to help a stranger even though it will increase the danger to me. This makes me sick. What would make me sicker is looking at my face in the mirror every day knowing I had left someone helpless.

    I'm pretty sure this is one of those stories that is going to stay with me permanently.

    I can't believe humanity sometimes.

  10. #10
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    I don't care what the judge said, people SHOULD help, and should want to help. This was hard to read, I hope she can get over the trauma, and the two (at least) who saw and did nothing, never forget what they didn't do. I hope it haunts them the rest of their lives.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Array DrLewall's Avatar
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    and that ladies and gentlemen, is where our sociaty is heading..soon to be Eloi!
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  12. #12
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    thats just wrong

    This quote comes to mind ,
    The only thing worse than true evil, is the indifference of good men.

  13. #13
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    Mixed thoughts on this one. As a permit holder seeing a woman being dragged down the stairwell, I would have gone down that stairwell. However, how many times on this board has it been said, "stay out it, be a good witness", "my job is to get home to my family", etc? The ticket clerk and train conductor may be sick to their stomachs as well.

    They did notify the police - 10 min seems like a "historically average" (don't want to admit it being "reasonable") expected response time for the police. It seems if someone was bold enough to rape a woman on the subway stairwell, they may have figured even if the police were called they would still have enough time to finish what they started and get away - and they were right. I have doubts that someone saying the cops are coming would stop a guy like this.

    It was in NYC so we can safely assume that the BG had a gun and the other two men didn't. Are you going to go into a kill zone (stairwell) unarmed against a BG that you could reasonably expect to be armed? Kinda seems like suicide. Not saying it was her fault at all, but this woman wants to blame the clerk and conductor, but where was her pepperspray, whistle, stungun (if legal), knife, etc? She was in her own little world until someone dragged her into his.

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    People, It's up to us to take care of ourselves......and each other.

    I wasn't raised that way, I was taught to help.
    When did 'we' start electing people who don't want us caring anymore?
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Array joleary223's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    A real man wouldn't stand for that.

    I don't care what a judge has to say about it.
    +1 Thanks HotGuns,

    because I can't say what I was really thinking.


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