It was the stuff of nightmares for public transit riders, a bleak commentary on the callousness of our fellow Philadelphians, a reminder of the dangers of collective passivity in the face of crime — and, as it turns out, it may have been more than a little misleading.

When law enforcement officials from SEPTA and the Upper Darby Police Department announced earlier this month that a passenger on a Market-Frankford Line train was raped while other riders stood idly by, it was met with a justifiable sense of horror and outrage.

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