UPDATE: SEPTA disputes sexual assault claim

Rafiq Smith
Rafiq Smith

UPDATE: According to Jerri Williams, spokeswoman for SEPTA, information from the Philadelphia Police Department regarding the alleged sexual assault is inaccurate.

SEPTA’s release says:

A news release issued by the Philadelphia Police Department today indicated that a female was sexually assaulted and robbed by an unknown male while waiting for a train at 15th and Market. This information is inaccurate.

SEPTA surveillance cameras show the woman and her alleged assailant together at approximately 10:31 pm attempting to access the Market-Frankford Line at 15th Street Station. They were denied entry by the cashier. The surveillance cameras then capture the woman and the male leaving the area and walking towards Suburban Station. Based on a thorough review of the extensive camera system in the Market-Frankford concourse area, it is believed that the couple never entered the paid area to wait for a train.

At 11:46 pm, the woman arrives alone at 12th & Market and reports the alleged attack to SEPTA Transit Police. The actual location of the alleged attack has not been determined, but it did not occur on the SEPTA transit system.

The Philadelphia Police Department has been requested to distribute another media release regarding this incident with the correct information, locations and times.

Original report:

A 42-year-old North Philadelphia man was charged with rape for sexually assaulting a middle-aged woman who awaited a SEPTA subway train at 15th and Market this morning, police said.

Rafiq Smith, of the 5600 block of Ogontz Avenue, allegedly pushed a 54-year-old woman to the ground, stole her cell phone and $87 and proceeded to sexually assault her, police said.

The woman, who had just left a local restaurant at 9th and Walnut streets to grab a train home, pointed out the man to a SEPTA police officer at the Suburban Station shortly after the incident, SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch said.

Smith is charged with rape, robbery, sexual assault, theft, simple assault and related offenses.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…