Uber missed driver's battery conviction; now charged with rape of 16 year old

The Uber driver charged with raping a 16-year-old girl in Everett was convicted in 2012 of assault and battery on a correctional officer, records show — a violent felony that should have been flagged by Uber’s background checks.

Darnell Booth, charged Thursday with raping the girl after talking to her over Snapchat, was convicted of assault and battery on a correctional officer in Essex County in 2012, according to his CORI record.

Barbara Maher, a spokeswoman for the Essex County Sheriff Frank Cousins, said Booth was being held in pre-trial lock-up when he physically resisted and hit a prison guard.

The Herald reported yesterday that Booth has a lengthy criminal history, including serving time in prison for drug dealing in 2008 and another assault and battery charge in 2001. Prosecutors at his arraignment said Booth has a violent, eight-page criminal record.

Uber said much of Booth’s criminal record was outside the seven-year window the company is allowed to view under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Yet Booth’s 2012 conviction falls squarely within that period.

An Uber spokesman acknowledged to the Herald last night that the company’s background check failed to pick up Booth’s 2012 conviction but did not provide a reason.

Booth also had his driver’s license suspended multiple times since last year, according to RMV records.

He has also been charged with a number of other felonies and misdemeanors — including another assault — which were dismissed or continued without a finding.

Booth’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

Booth’s driver’s license had been suspended five times since the beginning of 2015, in each instance because of an outstanding warrant, according to the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

In the wake of Booth’s arrest, Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria called on Beacon Hill to stiffen the state’s new ride-hailing law and screen drivers more thoroughly through fingerprinting. Under the new law, the state will do its own background checks on drivers for ride-hailing outfits.

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/local_coverage/2016/08/uber_missed_driver_s_battery_conviction