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LIC subway rape victim files suit against MTA

The attorney for a Brooklyn woman who was raped four years ago on a Long Island City subway platform said the city Transit Authority and two of its employees should pay for failing to protect the victim as she pleaded for help.

Maria Besedina, 25, was sexually assaulted around 2 a.m. by a man on the subway platform of the G line at Long Island City’s 21st Street station in June 2005. The rapist, who was never apprehended, had sat down next to the victim on an empty subway train and touched her leg, attorney Marc Albert said.

Besedina confronted the man and left the train, but the assailant began licking her foot and ankle once she was on the platform, Albert said. She ran toward a toll booth clerk at the station and called 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.

“He knew a rape was going on and sat in his booth for 10 minutes and did nothing,” Albert said of the toll booth clerk. “And there is no public address system in that station, so he could not communicate with people on the level below. The whole thing is ludicrous. What the MTA is saying is that no matter how stupefying their lack of security is at this station, they are immune from this lawsuit because they are a government agency.”

An MTA spokesman said the agency does not comment on pending litigation.

Besedina filed a suit against the Transit Authority, the toll booth clerk and a conductor who drove a train through the station as the rape was occurring but did not stop, on the grounds they should have stepped in to help, Albert said. A Queens Supreme Court judge heard a motion in mid−February from the Transit Authority, which asked for the case to be dismissed before it went to trial, Albert said.

The MTA argued that the toll booth clerk followed procedure by not leaving the booth, Albert said. The clerk hit a button that connected him to a command center, but the rapist had fled by the time police arrived 10 minutes later, he said.

The judge will determine within the next month whether the case should proceed, he said.

Albert said the victim, 21 at the time of the attack, had been en route to visit her boyfriend in Queens, who had recently had surgery.

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

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