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.


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