- By Jane Harper
- Mar 7, 2017
An Uber driver appeared in court on Tuesday after he was charged with raping a female passenger in one of the city’s Oceanfront neighborhoods over the weekend.
Sewanou Bisile Yoro, 34, of Norfolk, was arrested Monday on charges of abduction, rape and aggravated sexual assault. He is being held without bond in the city jail.
Police said the victim was picked up Saturday night and assaulted sometime between 9:34 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. in the Bay Colony area on Linkhorn Bay near the Oceanfront.
A bail determination checklist in Yoro’s court file said he’s been driving part time for Uber for two to three years, earning about $350 a week.
It also indicated that he had no prior criminal history, and that a gun was not used during the alleged assault. Yoro told a magistrate he has lived in the area since 2010 and that he owns his home in the 200 block of W. 32nd St. in Norfolk as well as a 2009 Mitsubishi.
The arrest warrant stated that the victim was an adult, but provided no other information.
During a brief arraignment Tuesday, Yoro told General District Judge Gene Woolard that he lives alone in Norfolk. The judge appointed him a public defender and set a preliminary hearing for May 4.
Uber spokeswoman Jodi Page said the company would work with police to provide any information they might need for the investigation.
"The driver has been banned from Uber," Page wrote in an email late Tuesday. "The type of conduct that has been described has no place on the app or anywhere."
Uber has struggled in the past with some high-profile sexual assault cases involving its drivers.
The Washington Post reported in November that the company had to settle a lawsuit brought by two women who said Uber was responsible for sexual assaults by drivers who contracted with the company.
The company was the target of a 2015 lawsuit when a Virginia Beach driver harassed and assaulted a 13-year-old girl. The driver, Isagani A. Marin, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge the same year and received a six-month suspended sentence, The Virginian-Pilot reported at the time.