A third MTA worker may have seen ’05 rape

Brooklyn’s Maria Besedin filed a lawsuit against the MTA after she was sexually assaulted on a subway platform in Long Island City in 2005.
By Nathan Duke

The attorney for a Brooklyn woman who was raped four years ago on a Long Island City subway platform said they received a letter from an MTA dispatcher, which suggests that a third employee from the agency may have been present during the attack, but did not respond.

Maria Besedin, 25, was sexually assaulted in June 2005 around 2 a.m. by a man on the subway platform of the G line at Long Island City’s 21st Street station. She had run toward a toll booth clerk at the station and pleaded for help, but the clerk merely looked on as the assailant dragged her back down the stairs to the subway platform and raped her multiple times, Albert said.

The MTA has defended the clerk’s decision to call the police rather than intervene, arguing that the agency’s employees should not be expected to perform in the capacity of law enforcement officers.

Besedin had filed a suit against the MTA, the toll clerk and a conductor, who had driven a train through the Long Island City station as the rape was occurring but did not stop, Albert said. A Queens judge threw out the case earlier this month on the grounds that the MTA employees followed the agency’s rule book, but Besedin’s attorneys plan to file an appeal.

Albert said the MTA recently handed over a letter written by an MTA dispatcher which asked the agency to investigate a train supervisor who had responded to the station at the time of the incident.

The supervisor had reported that he arrived at the scene after police, but the dispatcher wrote in her letter that her colleague’s demeanor and tone of voice led her to believe that he was the first to respond, but waited quietly until police arrived rather than step in, Albert said.

“This is an initiative we’ll raise in an appeal,” Albert said. “The MTA did not give this information to us out of the goodness of their hearts. They felt pretty strongly that if they didn’t exchange it, [the dispatcher] would come forward. It could change the position of the court.”

The MTA could not be reached for comment.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e−mail at nduke@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 156.

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