Lyft driver charged with raping passenger

by: Ross Cavitt Updated: Jan 26, 2017 - 11:28 PM

COBB COUNTY, Ga. - A Cobb County woman said a Lyft driver sexually assaulted her on a ride home after a night out.

A police report says a Smyrna woman used the Lyft service to ride home from an Atlanta bar to her Vinings area apartment.

"It's a concern, especially for women," one Cobb County woman, who only identified herself as Audrey, said.

Audrey said she has never taken a ride service, mostly because she has her own car, but also because you don't know who is taking you for that ride.

"I'm not sure if the companies actually do a full background check to do a full history there," Audrey told Channel 2’s Ross Cavitt.

But for one woman’s ride, it took a disturbing turn.

A police report said instead of dropping the victim off at her apartment the driver instead stopped at a parking lot here and had sex with her. The report said the victim was in no condition to consent.

Cobb County police tracked down the driver, Jerome Antonio Booze, of Decatur, charging him with felony rape.

Lyft's website said they do full background checks on drivers, eliminating anyone with a felony, violent or sex crimes.

A Lyft representative sent Cavitt a statement saying; 

“We are devastated by this news. The individual in question has been banned from using the Lyft app. We have been assisting law enforcement and are available to continue supporting the authorities in their investigation.”

It is unclear how long Booze had been using his Nissan Versa to drive for Lyft.

Cobb County police told Cavitt an incident like this was a rare occasion.

Booze is being held without bond in the Cobb County Jail.