Exclusive: Metro-North conductor suspended after passenger alleges rape

A Metro-North train station on Maple Avenue in A Metro-North train station on Maple Avenue in Mount Kisco. (March 13, 2012) Photo Credit: Angela Gaul

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Westchester County prosecutors are investigating a passenger's allegation of being raped by a conductor aboard a deserted Metro-North train on a Sunday evening last month, authorities said Monday.

The conductor has not been arrested.

"We're working with the MTA police to investigate an allegation of sexual assault," said Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore.

He declined to elaborate.

The conductor was suspended without pay after the incident, which is alleged to have occurred on March 10 on a northbound Harlem Line train, according to Metro-North spokeswoman Marjorie Anders.

Sources described the victim as a transgender person who contacted police from the train to report the alleged rape. There were no witnesses aboard the train to corroborate the allegation, a source said.

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Law enforcement sources said it is not unusual for the filing of charges to be delayed, particularly in cases where there are no witnesses.

After the alleged victim called authorities, the conductor was taken off the train at the Southeast station, north of Brewster in Putnam County, where he was informed of the allegation, a source familiar with the probe said.

He has vehemently denied the allegation and is working to get his job back, one source said.

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"He says it's not true," the source said.

Officials with the conductors union, the Association of Commuter Rail Employees, declined to comment.

Metro-North officials confirmed the allegation after Newsday noticed that MTA police had reported a rape on a routine monthly report of crime-related incidents in the system.

It was the only rape allegation reported by any of the MTA's bus, subway and commuter rail systems in the past year.

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