#womenneedsaferides

Uber driver who raped passenger then took a selfie with her jailed for 12 years

'The harm you did that night is incalculable,' says judge

An Uber driver who raped a passenger in the back of his car before taking a selfie with her, has been jailed for 12 years.

Muhammad Khurram Durrani dropped the 27-year-old woman at her home address on the night 23 July 2016, Southwark Crown Court, heard. 

The 38-year-old “lost all sense of self-control” after taking pictures of the woman as she slept in the back of his car, Judge David Tomlinson said as he passed sentence. 

After they arrived at her home, his victim approached her front door, but Durrani picked her up from behind and carried her to the car.

There, he sexually assaulted and raped her, before taking selfie images with her while at least one of her breasts was exposed.

“It comes as no surprise to learn, and it’s no exaggeration to say, you have ruined her life," Judge Tomlinson added. “The harm you did that night is incalculable.”

He had no doubt Durrani was aware his victim was “almost paralytically drunk” when he picked her up, he said. 

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/uber-driver-rape-passenger-selfie-muhammad-khurram-durrani-a8345951.html

Lyft driver sexually assaulted passenger after she refused $1K offer: cops

 

By Joshua Rhett Miller

May 3, 2018 | 11:52am

Raheel Bin HanifOakland County Sheriffs Office

A Lyft driver in Michigan sexually assaulted a female passenger after offering her $1,000 for sex, authorities said.

Raheel Bin Hanif, 24, of Waterford Township, told the woman during a ride in Pontiac on April 24 that he owned a health spa and would pay her $400 if she let him massage her and complete a subsequent survey on his services, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.

Hanif also encouraged the woman — who had previously used Hanif as a driver on the ridesharing platform — to drink from an open container of Four Loko during the ride. Hanif then arrived at the purported spa, where the victim said she felt as if she was “buzzed” after drinking the alcoholic malt beverage. After the massage ended, Hanif then offered her $1,000 in exchange for sex, which the woman refused before being sexually assaulted. Hanif then drove her back to her home, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said.

“We will never tolerate behavior from those who commit sexual violence,” Bouchard said in a statement. “This is a reminder to review some of the newest safety features included in apps such as Uber and Lyft, which allow you to send your location to friends and family and call for emergency help quickly.”

Hanif was arrested a day after the alleged assault and was later arraigned on three counts of third-degree criminal sexual contact. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

Hanif, who remains jailed on $750,000 cash surety bond, is due back in court on Monday.

Investigators are now looking into whether Hanif has been involved in other assaults. He was listed as a possible suspect in another sexual assault in December, but there wasn’t enough evidence to obtain a warrant at the time, Bouchard said.

Anyone with information about Hanif is asked to contact authorities at (248) 858-4911.

Hanif’s arrest comes after a CNN report last month found that at least 103 Uber drivers and 18 Lyft drivers have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing passengers in the last four years.

“You are pretty much hitchhiking with strangers,” one woman from Miami told CNN. “How many people is it going to take to get assaulted before something is done?”

Hanif was “immediately deactivated” after Lyft officials learned of the alleged assault, which occurred off the company’s platform, spokeswoman Kate Margolis told The Post in a statement Thursday. The incident is now being investigated internally and the company will work with investigators, she said.

“These allegations are deeply disturbing, and are completely unacceptable,” Margolis said. “From day one, the safety of the Lyft community has been our number one priority.”

 

https://nypost.com/2018/05/03/lyft-driver-accused-of-sexually-assaulting-passenger-after-offering-her-1000-for-sex/

Uber is allegedly silencing sexual assault allegations against its drivers — here's what to know about the case

KAREN FRATTI

March 21, 2018 8:19 am

One of the tell-tale signs that rape culture is alive and well comes when companies force accusers to settle their sexual assault allegations behind closed doors in arbitration and then sign non-disclosure agreements. But that doesn’t just happen in Hollywood or on Capitol Hill. Actually, nine women have brought a class action lawsuit against Uber for allegedly silencing their sexual assault allegations and forcing them to settle the issue in arbitration instead of an open court.

Arbitration is, according to the American Bar Association, a private way to settle disputes. A neutral party hears evidence and then decides who’s in the right. Although there are definitely times when it might be in someone’s favor to go to arbitration, it’s usually not in the best interest of employees or consumers — especially women — when they take this route, since arbiters tend to be very white, very old, and very male. What do they know about anything, right?

The thing is, all of us are actually bound to handle disputes via arbitration, whether it’s with Uber, Lyft, or other tech companies. Pretty much all of them have it written into their terms of service, which is why Uber is standing firm in settling these sexual assault cases in a closed boardroom somewhere instead of in front of a jury. Uber didn’t immediately respond to HelloGiggles’ request for comment, but a spokesperson told Gizmodo that the women in the class action lawsuit are allowed to at least speak publicly about the process.

“The allegations brought forth in this case are important to us and we take them very seriously. Arbitration is the appropriate venue for this case because it allows the plaintiffs to publicly speak out as much as they want and have control over their individual privacy at the same time,” they said. Basically, it’s a great way to keep things out of the news.

These nine women are intent on not letting that happen. They want a jury and a trial and all of our attention, which is fair. Jeanne M Christensen, one of the women’s attorneys, told The Guardian, “Our clients deserve a trial. The goal is to force Uber to acknowledge that this is happening and to do something about it.” Another attorney at Wigdor Law, the firm representing the plaintiffs, told Gizmodo that Uber’s claim about privacy was “entirely nonsensical and a clear attempt to shield its pervasive, easily-rectified wrongdoing from the public eye.” They added that the women are very in control of their privacy and “want to litigate their claims in federal court.”

Forced arbitration is something that perpetuates rape culture, plain and simple. When you settle things behind closed doors, even if there’s a clause letting the women tweet and talk about it, they’re less likely to make headlines and fewer women will know that they’re not alone if they’ve been attacked or harassed by a man. This is one of the main things the Time’s Up organizers are fighting against — settling things quietly, writing a check, signing a contract, and being done with it is essentially telling victims to shut up and be happy it’s over. It’s telling drivers that they can get away with doing what they want. That’s just not going to fly, especially when we’re hopping in vehicles with drivers that the company is supposed to vet for us so that we can be safe.

One of the plaintiffs from Miami allegedly carried an intoxicated passengerinto her home and raped her, according to the complaint. A 26-year-old woman fom San Francisco alleges that an Uber driver pushed his way into her apartment building and then groped her. A Los Angeles woman alleges that she was assaulted when she fell asleep in the backseat. Another masturbated in the drivers seat, saying, “I thought this was what you wanted, ” to the plaintiff, according to the Daily Beast.

The women’s lawsuit blames Uber for their role in the alleged assaults throughout:

“Uber has done everything possible to continue using low-cost, woefully inadequate background checks on drivers and has failed to monitor drivers for any violent or inappropriate conduct after they are hired. Uber has created a system for bad actors to gain access to vulnerable victims.”

Just this weekend, police arrested a Boston Uber driver for assaulting a passenger in a parked car. Simply, this happens often enough for Uber to take a stronger position when it comes to protecting female Uber passengers. If they can’t vet their drivers or train them to prevent sexual assault, the least it could do is allow plaintiffs to tell their story in a court and let a judge and jury decide. Forcing women into arbitration to protect the company image is not a good look.

Uber driver accused of following woman into home, sexually assaulting her

Updated: 7:09 PM CDT Mar 16, 2018

Nick Bohr   

MILWAUKEE —

An Uber driver is accused of sexually assaulting a woman he drove home from a bar in Milwaukee.

The woman said he picked her up on Old World Third Street and then followed her into her house.

At bar time, the 23-year-old woman knew she couldn't drive home because she'd had too much to drink and took an Uber.

Police said the 39-year-old Uber driver helped her to the door of her Bay View home and then followed her inside and sexually assaulted her twice.

"Whenever you're out, you need to have good judgment," said Katie Wilhelm, who uses Uber. "It's a difficult call to make because either way there's a risk. Like, you don't want to drive drunk, but you also don't want to put yourself in a situation where you could be really at risk of being hurt in a different way."

Uber records led police to the driver, who didn't answer his door when WISN 12 News tried to talk to him Friday afternoon.

Uber users say the case serves as a warning, and a reminder that revelers should make sure their intoxicated friends get home safe not just into a cab or an Uber.

"That's a big problem out here with the Uber situation ... a lot of times, people get drunk. They leave their friends. And they end up out here, in the river, or get taken advantage of," Uber user LaTangelia Johnson said.

Police arrested the driver, but WISN 12 News is not naming him because he hasn't been charged yet. Prosecutors are waiting for DNA test results.

Uber released a statement saying, "What's been reported is horrible and is not tolerated on the app. As soon as we became aware of this we removed the driver's access."

http://www.wisn.com/article/cirque-du-soleil-performer-dies-after-fall-during-florida-performance/19472353

Seven More Women Join Uber Sexual-Assault Lawsuit

The class-action suit now includes nine total plaintiffs who say they were raped, assaulted, harassed, or kidnapped.

OLIVIA MESSER

03.15.18 9:43 PM ET

“I thought this is what you wanted,” an Uber driver—while masturbating—allegedly told one of the seven new plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against the ride-hail giant on Thursday.

The women each say they were harassed, assaulted, kidnapped or raped by their Uber driver.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, first alleged in November 2017 that—because of its lax driver screening—the company is operating a system in which perpetrators maintain access to thousands of women to kidnap, sexually assault, and harass.

The initial suit included two plaintiffs, and the amended complaint was filed on Thursday, adding seven new plaintiffs to the case.

“Uber has done everything possible to continue using low-cost, woefully inadequate background checks on drivers and has failed to monitor drivers for any violent or inappropriate conduct after they are hired,” the lawsuit says. “Uber has created a system for bad actors to gain access to vulnerable victims.”

Attorney Jeanne Christensen,  who represents the plaintiffs, claims that Uber filed a motion after that suit to “force these women into confidential arbitration.”

“Today, in response, we have amended the complaint to address the arbitration issue and include the claims of another seven women that have dared to participate as named plaintiffs and speak out against Uber,” Christensen said. “Uber’s goal is to stop women from getting the justice they deserve through our court system.”

The complaint claims that “Uber is frantic to deny Jane Does and thousands of female victims their right to access our judicial system, as demonstrated by Uber’s recent shameful attempt to force this action into arbitration immediately.”Christensen claims that arbitration “would prevent the public from learning about the frequency and severity of rapes and sexual assaults by Uber drivers against innocent women.”

The class action suit seeks to include plaintiffs “who were transported by Uber drivers and were subject to rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, kidnapping, or other gender-motivated violence or harassment by their Uber driver in the last four years.”

The lawsuit alleges that Uber “has engaged in and continues to engage in unlawful, fraudulent and unfair practices that are substantially likely to mislead the public.”

Plaintiffs are seeking damages to be determined at jury trial and a permanent injunction to prevent repeated alleged irresponsibility in the future.

Thousands of women have been attacked by Uber drivers since the company was first launched in 2010, according to the lawsuit, including cases of “rape, sexual assault, physical violence and gender-motivated harassment.”

“As she fought her driver, he kept saying ‘I need one minute, I need to kiss you.’”

Jane Doe 1 says she was raped one October 2016 night in Miami by her Uber driver, who noticed she was “barely conscious” while riding home from a restaurant with her friend.

The driver, who was charged with a felony in Miami before that night, allegedly threw Doe 1 over his shoulder and carried her upstairs and into her bedroom. Her friend, who was upset and afraid, hid in the bathroom while the man raped Doe 1, the lawsuit claims.

The man was later charged and allegedly admitted to police that “he was wrong for what he did.” That case is still pending, according to the lawsuit. Uber refunded Doe’s receipt from the ride but never confirmed that the man was deactivated as a driver.

Jane Doe 2, who lives in Los Angeles, was drinking at a dinner with friends when she called a car. She fell asleep in the backseat of her Uber and awoke to her driver’s mouth on her vulva, the lawsuit claims.

He drove her home and raped her while she was “in and out of consciousness,” according to the complaint.

Jane Doe 3, a 26-year-old who lives in San Francisco, requested an Uber after a holiday party in December 2017. When she got home, the driver offered to help her into her apartment. Even though she said no, he followed her inside, pushing himself into the foyer, the lawsuit claims.

He “held her in a bear hug as he groped her and attempted to force himself on her,” the complaint states. As she fled, he followed her to her apartment door, where he groped her and put his hands up her dress, according to the suit.

“Doe 3 managed to punch him in the stomach hard enough that she was able to get into her apartment,” the lawsuit states.

The man’s name, date of birth and personal address match the name, date of birth and personal address of a man who is listed as a registered sex offender in Berkeley, California, according to the lawsuit.

Jane Doe 4, a 42-year-old woman in Des Moines, Iowa was in a ride home from a bar when the driver began “asking her strange questions.”

She looked away and then realized “he had his penis out.”

Doe 4 told him to stop, but he responded: “I thought this is what you wanted,” the lawsuit claims.

He then allegedly grabbed Doe 4’s knee and tried to kiss her. Doe 4 asked him to take her back to the bar because it was a “public area rather than her home,” the lawsuit states.

“At this, Howard removed his penis from his pants again, and began masturbating, even though Ms. Doe 4 kept protesting and threatened to call the police,” the lawsuit claims.

“Doe 4 was furious at the possibility [the driver] could do this again to more unsuspecting women, so she grabbed his phone, threw it on the ground away from him, and took the broken pieces into the bar,” the document alleges.

“She gave the broken phone pieces to the bartender, who called police,” according to the lawsuit.

The case is under investigation, and the driver was allegedly deactivated from the app.

Jane Doe 5, a 33-year-old, was out drinking with a friend in October 2016 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. When she got into the Uber, which should have been a 40-minute ride, she blacked out.

More than two hours later, the driver was trying to carry her unconscious body from the backseat of the vehicle, the suit says. When the woman’s boyfriend approached the odd scene, the driver pushed Doe 5 back into the car and drove off with her, according to the complaint.

The driver allegedly dropped her off one block away from her home—in an apparent attempt to avoid the woman’s boyfriend. Doe 5’s boyfriend took her home, and “she awoke the next morning with no recollection of the previous night,” the lawsuit states.

Uber allegedly responded to her complaints by telling her she would no longer be paired with this driver anymore but still hasn’t refunded her ride. That driver is still working for Uber, according to the lawsuit.

Doe 5 filed a police report, but the lawsuit claims “Uber has refused to cooperate with the investigation.”

In December 2017, 31-year-old Jane Doe 6 was trying to get home from a holiday party about 1 a.m. in West Hollywood, California. She took an Uber, drifting in and out of consciousness during the course of the ride, at one point vomiting on the side of the road. She awoke and found the Uber driver sexually assaulting her, the lawsuit claims. The driver dropped her off one block away from her house, according to the complaint. She filed a police report one week later. The driver was arrested on December 23, 2017 and charged with digital penetration and oral copulation, according to the lawsuit.

Jane Doe 7, a 21-year-old New Yorker, ordered an Uber Pool to take her home from dinner at about 1 a.m. When the car arrived at her home in Brooklyn, she tried to get out.

The driver allegedly said, “I need one minute,” got into the backseat, groped her and forcibly tried to kiss her, according to the lawsuit. As she fought him, he kept saying, “I need one minute, I need to kiss you.”

Doe 7 eventually grabbed her purse, hit him in the face, and fled the vehicle.

He allegedly yelled at her while she fumbled for her keys to get inside. Doe 7 filed a police report. Uber has not terminated its relationship with the driver, and he still drives for the company, according to the lawsuit.

Jane Doe 8, a 19-year-old in Ann Arbor, Michigan, said her Uber driver in August 2016 began asking her personal and inappropriate questions as soon as she got into the car.

Her bicycle was in the backseat, so she sat in the front.

“I heard private school girls are wild,” he allegedly said, asking if she had a boyfriend or had ever had sex.

Then, he “began rubbing Ms. Doe 8’s leg, beginning at her knee and reaching up her thigh,” according to the suit. She moved closer to the window, but the driver kept rubbing her arms and shoulders, the complaint alleges.

“She asked the driver to stop the vehicle so that she could get out and walk back to campus,” but he refused, according to the complaint.

He allegedly asked if he could kiss her, but she said “no.”

When they arrived at campus, he allegedly said, “I have to kiss you,” and forcibly grabbed and kissed her.

The driver was convicted of sexual assault in the woman’s case, according to the lawsuit.

Jane Doe 9, who lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, ordered an Uber home from a bar about 2 a.m. in October 2017.

Her phone died before the car got there.

“The Uber driver began driving on the highway in the wrong direction,” according to the lawsuit, at which point Doe 9 began panicking.

But the driver allegedly told her “not to panic” and “began touching her legs, putting his hand down her shirt and feeling her breasts,” the complaint states. Though she was begging the man to take her home, he instead pulled off the highway and parked in his own apartment complex, according to the lawsuit.

When she refused to get out of the vehicle, she said the driver tried to pull her out. Doe 9 screamed, and a neighbor came out to see what was going on.

“Doe 9 shook her head to indicate that everything was not alright,” according to the complaint.

The neighbor helped her, and Doe 9, who was “hysterical and continued to feel unsafe,” called police, and the driver was arrested, the lawsuit claims. He was allegedly charged with kidnapping, indecent assault, false imprisonment, and harassment.

He allegedly told police that he wasn’t actually logged in on the app as a driver, but “that she looked intoxicated, so he picked her up,” according to the complaint.

The driver was terminated from the company after a report, according to the lawsuit.

An Uber spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the company takes the allegations “very seriously.”

“Arbitration is the appropriate venue for this case because it allows the plaintiffs to publicly speak out as much as they want and have control over their individual privacy at the same time,” it said.

Uber fired at least 20 employees last year in the aftermath of an investigation into its workplace culture after former employee Susan Fowler published a detailed account online of the sexual harassment she experienced at the company.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/seven-more-women-join-uber-sexual-assault-lawsuit

Jury convicts Uber driver of raping passenger

Marc Freeman Sun Sentinel

The jury rejected his claims of a consensual sexual romp, and Uber driver Gary Kitchings now stands convicted of raping a passenger he picked up after SunFest last year.

A weeklong trial ended Friday with a guilty verdict on five felony charges for the 58-year-old former foster care provider, who drove part-time for the ride sharing service.

Kitchings testified his front-seat passenger was flirtatious, and it turned into a consensual sex “good time” hook up at her Jupiter condo before he returned to Uber driving the same night.

Gary Kitchings, 58, testifies in a Palm Beach County courtroom on March 15, 2018, in his own defense against charges of raping a woman after giving her a Uber ride from SunFest last year.

 But his 38-year-old accuser said her ride home in Kitchings’ Nissan Versa and the attack in her home were terrifying. She told the jury that Kitchings was a “monster” who locked the car doors, threatened to shoot her unless she performed a sex act and swallow his urine while he drove, and then broke into her home and raped her.

It took nine hours of deliberations over two days, but the panel of five men and one woman decided the woman was a victim. Kitchings was acquitted of one sexual battery count, over the alleged oral sex in the car.

“I’m so very happy with the verdict,” the woman told reporters outside the courtroom, asking not to be identified. “Thank you, thank you, thank you, for an amazing jury. I wish I could thank each of them in person.” Juror 5, one of the men on the panel, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that they took their time going through the evidence because “you don’t want to make the wrong decision.” The juror, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said it was “a classic case” of he-said, she-said and ultimately they decided she was raped.

The woman, who lives in New York City and runs an online skin care products company, also praised prosecutors Marci Rex and Brianna Coakley as “heroes.” Rex said the verdict was a relief because it didn’t turn out to be another case where the woman is blamed for claiming rape. “It’s so rewarding to know the jurors could look at the evidence and look even at the victim’s word and not just say that it’s a he said, she said,” the prosecutor said. “It speaks volumes on a shift in the rape climate to know that they usually blame the victim and this time they didn’t do that.”

Kitchings was found guilty of three counts of sexual battery with a deadly weapon or physical force, one count of burglary with assault or battery, and false imprisonment.

Kitchings then returned to Palm Beach County Jail and will face up to life in prison when he is sentenced May 18 by Chief Circuit Judge Krista Marx.

Assistant Public Defenders Stephen Arbuzow and Raquel Tortora vowed to challenge the convictions.

One of the grounds for the appeal is expected to be Judge Marx’s refusal to let the defense inform the jury that Kitchings’ accuser had made a rape claim against a different man over an encounter in a New York City hotel in 2016. The defendant in that case also says it was consensual, and a trial is likely in April.

“We’re disappointed in the way this turned out,” Arbuzow told reporters. “We believe Mr. Kitchings is an innocent man.”

 Gary Kitchings appears in this May 8, 2017 booking photo.

 (Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office)

After his arrest, Kitchings lost his jobs with Uber and a foster home facility in suburban West Palm Beach.

On the witness stand, Kitchings said he was guilty only of cheating on his wife, saying he was flattered by the attention from the younger woman he picked up May 7, 2017, following the West Palm Beach arts and music festival.

“She asked me if I cheat,” he said, denying that anything sexual happened in the car. “I wasn’t opposed to any of it.”

Kitchings said once they got to her place, the woman said it wasn’t necessary for him to grab a condom from his trunk, and he recalled, “She had this nice grin on her face.”

During his closing argument Thursday, Arbuzow said the woman was lying and putting on an act when she called 911 after Kitchings went back on the road. The jurors listened to a recording of the woman crying to the operator on the call.

Arbuzow said he was afraid the jury would convict his client “just because it sounds horrible,” suggesting the woman cried rape because she had regrets about the hook-up, or possibly she wanted to make an excuse for selling her condo. He also said police never found a gun.

But the prosecutors said the woman had no reason to make up the rape, which meant undergoing an invasive hospital exam and later testifying before strangers in court.

They also said that in the days before the attack she was with her boyfriend in Mexico, and would never be attracted to an overweight Uber driver for what the defense branded a “one night stand.”

“This was the worst night of her life,” prosecutor Rex said.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/palm-beach/fl-pn-uber-driver-rape-trial-verdict-watch-20180316-story.html

Uber driver charged with attempted abduction arrested in connection to another crime

 

Anthony Rowell, an Uber driver who was charged in January for an attempted kidnapping in Columbia, was arrested Wednesday in connection to a rape and abduction last November.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the 20-year-old female victim had been drinking with friends on Nov. 16. She reported having no memory of leaving the bar, and the next thing she remembered was being in a gold colored minivan while a man stunned her with a stun gun, and she remembered holding her head between her legs.

The two men in the van told her that she was taken to another location where "bad things happened to her," law enforcement said. She was then driven to an unknown location and pushed out of the van. 

On March 5, the Highway Patrol lab linked Rowell's DNA to the crime.

According to reports, a search warrant was served for Rowell's home in Fulton on Wednesday. The Callaway County Sheriff's Department collected a stun gun with a long strand of hair attached to the striking end. Rowell was then arrested by deputies on suspicion of rape in the first degree and kidnapping. Bonds have yet to be set by the court. 

https://www.columbiamissourian.com/news/local/uber-driver-charged-with-attempted-abduction-arrested-in-connection-to/article_23d571b0-2954-11e8-a3f2-439236e7f61c.html

UBER DRIVER WITH PREVIOUS CONVICTION WAS ALLOWED TO COMMIT FOUR SEXUAL OFFENCES BEFORE ACTION WAS TAKEN

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2018

It turns out the Uber driver who told a 14-year-old girl she "looked hot and had nice lips" hours after he told another female passenger he could satisfy her needs, had a previous conviction and three previous complaints for improper behaviour...a court heard.

Again we've seen Uber failing to pass on sexual complaints to either TfL or the Police. 

Spyros Ntounis, 35, slowed his car down to 5mph so he could have more time with the teenager after she used the app to book a journey home from a night out at a friend's home.

Allister Walker, prosecuting, said the driver told the girl she "looked hot and had nice lips" while driving her to Kingston-upon-Thames in southwest London.

Ntounis then gave the girl some chewing gum, before giving her his mobile number after she told him she did not have an Uber app.

The next morning Ntounis started sending WhatsApp messages to the schoolgirl asking if she was okay and offered to 'give her lessons' in anything she wanted.

Ntounis sent her messages asking when they could next meet up, then quizzed her on whether he had 'passed the age test', jurors at Kingston Crown Court heard.

The teenager showed her parents, who urged her to block him on Whatsapp and contact the police.

Ntounis, of Drayton Green Road, West Ealing, denied but was convicted of attempting to meet a girl under 16 years of age following grooming.

It came out in court that the driver had faced three complaints from previous female passengers.

• A woman contacted Uber after Ntounis told her he felt 'horny' on October 8, 2016.

• Another complaint was lodged in November 2016 after Ntounis started talking to a passenger about 'inappropriate things'.

• The third complaint was made on April 21 las year, just hours before Ntounis targeted the 14-year-old girl. The passenger said Ntounis asked her if he could "'satisfy her needs". 

Three complaints yet Uber took no action and failed to pass on these serious complaints to TfL Ntounis' private hire licence was only suspended as a result of the forth allegation.

Judge Timothy Lamb QC said: "It's troubling the circumstances of this offence. Particularly considering I heard about his previous behaviour in his Uber car that the jury didn't hear about.

"His service was dispensed with by Uber but again, only after the three complaints by ladies about his conversation in the car."

How was this driver licensed by TfL with a previous conviction?

Was he one of Helen Chapman's 13,000 Uber drivers with fake DBS checks swept under TFL's carpet?

Ntounis previous conviction of dishonesty was from October 2014, for which he was handed a 12 month suspended sentence for 24 months, but was still given a TfL licence???

Judge Lamb bailed Ntounis ahead of sentence on March 19 but said: "You have been convicted by a jury, I need a report from you.

"I will give you your liberty this time but I wouldn't assume that because I let you go today that you have avoided a custodial sentence. Could be prison in four weeks."

Inspector Jas Sandhu, Met's Roads and Transport Policing Command said: "The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) will not tolerate any offences committed upon passengers of private hire vehicles and will robustly pursue offenders. Bit late though as this was his second conviction and had three complaints for sexual harassment.  

"Thanks to the actions by the latest victim and her family instigating the Met's investigation, a dangerous individual's actions have been stopped from going any further."

Siwan Hayward, Transport for London's Head of Transport Policing, said: "We take all allegations against licensed Taxi and Private Hire drivers extremely seriously and as soon as we were made aware of this offence we suspended this driver's licence immediately.

Siwan, this driver should have never been licensed in the first place, this was a  result of scandalous inadequate performance by TfL !

"As this case shows, reporting any behaviour that makes you feel uncomfortable is very important. It will be taken seriously (eventually) and by working closely with the police we will fully investigate all allegations, bring offenders to justice and push for the toughest penalties possible."

Four complaints were made to Uber yet they took no action against their driver. The action was only taken when a complaint was made to the police.

 

http://taxileaks.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/a-cabbie-from-ealing-to-meet-up-with-14.html?m=1

The Woman Brought in to Fix Uber Is Leaving the Company

By Madison Malone Kircher February 27, 20185:56 pm

Back in June 2017, Uber — hot on unending a streak of the world’s worst press — announced it was hiring Frances Frei of Harvard Business School as the company’s first SVP of leadership and strategy. In other words, that they were bringing in a professional to make Uber a more professional workplace. Today, Frei announced she’ll be leaving Uber. “When I got here, my goal was to train and teach executives how to manage better, but it became super apparent that the training needed to go way beyond that,” Frei told Recode. “As soon as the executive team was calmer, I turned my attention to 3,000 managers whose jobs grew well beyond their skills, which I think was the real work.”

During her tenure, founder Travis Kalanick stepped down from his role as CEO and was replaced by former Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. “I think with Dara leading, a lot of our biggest challenges are in the rearview mirror,” Frei also told Recode. She’ll stay on in an advisory capacity, a role which she held prior to coming on full-time — and commuting between Cambridge and San Francisco — as an SVP. According to a memo sent to Uber employees by Khosrowshahi this week, Frei is off to design “another first-of-its-kind executive education program” before resuming her role teaching at Harvard.

http://nymag.com/selectall/2018/02/frances-frei-uber-fixer-is-leaving-the-company.html?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=s3&utm_campaign=sharebutton-b

UBER DRIVER GAVE INTOXICATED WOMEN A RIDE HOME AND THEN RAPED THEM, SLO POLICE SAY

BY GABBY FERREIRA

January 18, 2018 02:38 PM

San Luis Obispo police have arrested an Uber driver from Santa Maria who they say escorted intoxicated women into their homes and then raped them.

On Wednesday, San Luis Obispo police served a search warrant at the home of 39-year-old Alfonso Alarconnunez in the 2300 block of Cesar Chavez Drive in Santa Maria, officials said. Alarconnunez was identified as a suspect in two separate sexual assault cases with multiple victims in SLO: one in the early morning of Dec. 18 and the other on Jan. 14, police said in a news release on Thursday.

Police say Alarconnunez, an Uber driver, targeted intoxicated women, gave them rides home and escorted them inside, where he then sexually assaulted them. Police said they believe Alarconnunez also stole property from the victims, including jewelry, cellphones and computers.

Police detectives believe Alarconnunez searched for parties in San Luis Obispo and solicited rides as an Uber driver. He would then collect payment through Venmo, a pay service app, to disguise his identity and his Uber records, police said.

Capt. Chris Staley said police have identified two victims in the December case and one in the January case. Staley said police first connected Alarconnunez to the Jan. 14 assault, and further investigation revealed he was connected to the Dec. 18 incident as well.

When police searched Alarconnunez’s home, police found several items of property belonging to the victims.

Alarconnunez was arrested on suspicion of eight charges, including two counts of rape of an unconscious victim and one count of rape of a drugged victim, as well as additional charges of grand theft, burglary and oral copulation with an unconscious victim.

He was taken to San Luis Obispo County Jail, where he is being held in lieu of $200,000 bail, according to jail records.

“There’s a lot of things outstanding that we’re still trying to piece together,” Staley said. “There may be additional charges we’re trying to request through the District Attorney’s Office.”

Since the arrest was made public at about 2 p.m. Thursday, Staley said the department has been contacted by a few people who’ve interacted with Alarconnunez, though he could not say whether those interactions took place around the same time as the assaults or at another time.

Police ask everyone with information regarding Alarconnunez, or anyone who believes they were a victim of assault or theft, to notify their local law enforcement agency.

Police urge everyone to confirm the identity of the driver and vehicle they request through the Uber or Lyft apps before getting into a vehicle. Payment should also be made through Uber or Lyft and not another payment service.

http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/article195437314.html

Uber driver sexually assaulted 3 students from Cal Poly, 1 from Cuesta, DA says

 

 

 

 

Uber driver charged with raping 16-year-old passenger

By Avi Selk December 15, 2017 

Police were called to an apartment complex outside Atlanta in the dark hours of Monday morning to find an extremely intoxicated 16-year-old girl with her pants around her ankles, they said.

She told Gwinnett County police officers that her Uber driver had just raped her. Now that driver is in jail, and police say the girl may not have been his only victim.

The teen had been out drinking at a bar, police said in a statement, and a friend ordered her an Uber to get home.

Abdoulie Jagne — a 58-year-old who had been driving for the service for two months and had no prior complaints, according to the company — pulled up to the bar.

According to Fox 5 Atlanta, Uber later provided information to police suggesting the ride took longer than it should have. Detectives now suspect that Jagne raped the girl on a street lined with houses and strip malls in an unincorporated section of the suburbs, a few miles northwest of Atlanta.

[An eavesdropping Uber driver saved his 16-year-old passenger from her pimps, police say]

He then dropped her off at a complex along the same road, where she started banging on doors and saying her driver had assaulted her.

Officers called to the complex took the girl to a hospital and got in touch with Uber. On Thursday, they arrested Jagne on a charge of rape.

The driver was calm at the point of handcuffs, sheriff’s deputies told the Fox affiliate. He remained in jail Friday, and it was unclear whether he had an attorney.

Police have not provided any more details about the case but suspect Jagne may have assaulted others, and they have asked anyone who may have been a victim to contact them.

An Uber spokeswoman told The Washington Post that the driver has been permanently banned and that the company is cooperating with police.

“What’s reported here is horrifying beyond words,” Uber said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with the rider and her family during this time.”

The arrest is the latest in a string of violent incidents allegedly involving Uber drivers, including a 2014 rape case that got the service banned from New Delhi, a fatal accident involving a 6-year-old in San Francisco and a mass shooting last year in Kalamazoo, Mich.

As The Post has reported, Uber is facing a class-action lawsuit that claims flaws in its screening process have endangered thousands of people.

Drivers are required to clear a criminal background screening, but Uber has strongly resisted calls to strengthen that system with fingerprint checks — going as far as to shut down its operations in areas that demand it.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2017/12/15/uber-driver-charged-with-raping-16-year-old-passenger/?utm_term=.b9a30adc9130

Woman sexually assaulted by Uber driver, police say

By Faiz Siddiqui November 28, 2017 

Police arrested 37-year-old Cristian Zelada-Avalo, of Manassas, in connection with the sexual assault of a 22-year-old Uber passenger. (Prince William County Police)

Police say a 22-year-old woman was pinned down and sexually assaulted in an Uber Saturday after hailing a ride from Manassas, Va., to her home in Woodbridge, Va.

Prince William County police identified the driver as Cristian Yovani Zelada-Avalo, 37, and arrested him Tuesday on charges of object sexual penetration and abduction with intent to defile.

According to police, Zelada-Avalo picked up the woman at 3:15 a.m. Saturday after she requested a ride home through the app. At some point during the trip, police said, Zelada-Avalo “held the victim down” and sexually assaulted her.

The woman text messaged an acquaintance to meet her at home when she arrived in Woodbridge.

“When the victim arrived at her home, she was able to get away from the accused who then left the area,” police said.

Police identified Zelada-Avalo in the ensuing days and found him at his home near Ginny Way and Shannon Lane in a Manassas subdivision. He was arrested Tuesday, charged and held without bond, police said.

An Uber spokesman said Zelada-Avalo had been driving for the app for eight months.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2017/11/28/woman-sexually-assaulted-by-uber-driver-police-say/?utm_term=.453d83ddea34

(Cook County)-Man posing as Uber driver picked up women outside bars and raped them, prosecutors say

BYMINYVONNE BURKE

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Friday, September 29, 2017, 12:10 PM

A Chicago man faces charges after prosecutors say he allegedly pretended to be an Uber driver to pick up five different women and then sexually assault them.

Musaab Afandi was initially arrested in March by Stokie Police after two women said the 33-year-old man attacked them after posing as their Uber driver. Those cases are still pending.

On Wednesday, Afandi appeared in court for a bond hearing after DNA testing allegedly linked him to three additional attacks, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Some of the sexual assault cases date back to last year.

Assistant State's Attorney Jillian Anselmo said during Wednesday's hearing that one 21-year-old female victim said she was attacked by Afandi in April of last year after he picked her up at Mullen's Bar in Wrigleyville. The woman said when Afandi pulled up she asked him if he was her Uber driver, CBS Chicago reports.

When he told her he was, the woman said she climbed into the back seat. After realizing that Afandi was not taking her to her destination, the woman asked him to pull over.

She told investigators that he stopped on a dark street, climbed into the back seat and raped her.

The woman was able to escape and called a friend. She then took a taxi home and went to the hospital the following day. DNA from the rape kit matched Afandi's, CBS reports.

A second victim told investigators that she was attacked by Afandi in December after leaving her job's Christmas party in River North. The 27-year-old woman said she got into what she thought was a taxi, driven by Afandi. She said she woke up in the back of the car naked with Afandi on top of her. The woman was able to escape before he sexually assaulted her.

Authorities said photos and a video of the woman were allegedly found on Afandi's cell phone.

In January, Afandi allegedly attacked another woman. The third victim said she was waiting with friends outside Old Crow Smokeshouse in Wrigleyville. After her friends left in a separate, official Uber, the 25-year-old woman said Afandi pulled up and she got in the backseat of the car. The woman said Afandi pulled onto a side street and raped her. After escaping, she ran to a nearby residence for help. DNA from a sexual assault kit was also allegedly linked to the phony driver.

Afandi is charged with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated criminal sexual assault. He was denied bail in Wednesday's hearing. DNA Info reports that an Uber spokeswoman urged riders to check the company's public awareness campaign to avoid getting into the wrong vehicle.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/fake-uber-driver-charged-raping-women-article-1.3530197

Chicago-Prosecutors: Lyft driver accused of zip-tying, sexually assaulting passenger

Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas  Chicago Tribune 07/21/2017

A driver of a ride-sharing service appeared in court Friday on charges that he kidnapped a customer, physically restrained her with a zip tie, and sexually assaulted and robbed her, all at knifepoint, according to prosecutors.

Angelo McCoy, 48, is being held in lieu of $900,000 bail in the July 7 crime, in which a 25-year-old Chicago woman was restrained and attacked, authorities said.

McCoy was charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault, aggravated kidnapping, armed robbery and unlawful restraint, police and prosecutors said.

The woman used the Lyft app on her phone to order a ride home from a bar because she felt she had had too much to drink and was picked up near the intersection of Hubbard and Clark streets about 11 p.m., Assistant State's Attorney Melissa Howlett told the judge.

Investigators would later learn the driver entered a pickup time of 11:06 p.m. and the system showed a drop-off time of 11:11 p.m., when in actuality the woman would be held against her will until after 1 a.m., Howlett said. 

The woman’s friend walked out to the curb with her and watched as she got into a white 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport SUV that matched the description of the Lyft vehicle that appeared on the woman’s mobile app, according to Howlett.

The woman fell asleep in the back seat of the SUV, and when she awoke, she realized the vehicle wasn’t headed in the direction of her home. She asked to get out of the vehicle, but McCoy wouldn’t let her, court documents show.  

He pulled into an alley and stopped the vehicle. The woman saw three people in the distance and screamed for help, but no one responded. McCoy then entered the back seat of the SUV, grabbed the woman from behind by her throat and pushed her down on her seat, according to Howlett.

He tied the woman’s hands together behind her back with a zip tie, police said, and forced her to perform oral sex on him.

The driver is additionally accused of sexually assaulting the woman, stealing her cellphone and driver’s license and demanding she give him money despite her pleas that she didn’t have any, prosecutors said.

After about two hours as a captive, she saw a chance to jump out of the SUV, near Belmont and Ashland avenues. She got out at a red light and ran straight to a car behind them, and that driver came to her aid, according to Howlett.

The stranger not only allowed her into his car but also offered to drive her home and persuaded her to first report the attack and took her to the 19th District police station. The woman was taken to Thorek Memorial Hospital, where she was examined for her injuries.

McCoy's next court appearance was set for Aug. 9, according to records from the Cook County sheriff’s office. 

"These allegations are sickening and horrifying,'' Lyft spokesman Scott Coriell said in an emailed statement. "As soon as we were made aware of this incident, we deactivated the driver’s account and did everything we could to assist law enforcement,'' he said in the statement. "Our concern is with the victim and her well-being. We stand ready to assist law enforcement in their investigation.''

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-lyft-driver-arrested-after-zip-tying-sexually-assaulting-passenger-20170721-story.html

 

 

Woman Reports Assault by Uber Driver After Refusing Sexual Favor


September 26th, 2017, 3:19 PM 

A 22-year-old Inkster woman said she was attacked by her Uber driver after rejecting his demand for sexual favors in lieu of a tip last Friday morning around 2 a.m., WXYZ reports. 

Ashley Johnson said after he made the sexual demand, she was horrified and immediately declined.

She said she would give him a tip after getting home. He agreed.

But then he changed his mind and ordered her out of the car a few houses from her home, she said.

"I opened the door and he grabbed my arm and sped off," she tells Ameera David of WXYZ.  "But my leg was outside the door, dragging me down until my arm got out the car."

She said she was left with road rash on her knee and torn muscles in her arm.

Johnson tells the station she used another person's phone to summon the car. She says she didn't know the owner of the phone. 

She said she tried for several days to contact Uber, without luck. She finally got through and Uber said it was investigating the matter.

Uber issues a statement: 

"What's been described is horrible and has no place on the Uber app or anywhere. We take all allegations very seriously and are looking further into this report."

 

http://www.deadlinedetroit.com/articles/18430/women_says_she_was_assaulted_by_uber_driver_after_refusing_sexual_favor#.Wc0Tm2hSyM8

Woman Says Uber Driver Pushed Her From Speeding Car

 

ROBERT KAHN   August 22, 2017

VENTURA, Calif. (CN) — A Southern California woman claims in courtthat an Uber driver pushed her from a speeding car when, alarmed by his erratic behavior, she asked him to let her out.

Katherine Conner sued Uber Technologies and Rasier on Monday in Ventura County Superior Court. She seeks punitive damages on nine counts, including assault, battery, false imprisonment, gross negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Uber, whose corporate culture has come under intense public and legal scrutiny this year, could not be reached for comment after business hours Monday.

Conner’s 13-page lawsuit is short on specifics, aside from the frightening ride she says happened “(w)ithin the year last past,” with an Uber “driver defendant” in the city of Ventura.

She says when the Uber driver picked her up he headed in the wrong direction. When she complained he told her “in essence, that he was taking a shortcut, according to the complaint. When it became clear he was not taking her where she wanted to go, Conner says, she told him she wanted to get out of the car.

“At that point, the driver defendant became agitated and started driving fast,” making her “fear that the driver defendant intended to take her somewhere other than the destination and do her harm.”

She screamed at him, insisting that he let her out, Conner says, but he ignored her pleas to let her out of the car, “and, in fact, increased its speed in response and began shoving, pushing and assaulting and battering (her).”

The assault culminated, she says, “as the driver defendant was making a turn, and while the vehicle was still moving, the driver defendant reached over, opened the passenger-side door, forcibly pushed plaintiff Conner out of the subject vehicle and drove away.”

She had to go to a hospital emergency room and get continuing treatment for physical and psychological trauma, Conner says.

She is represented by Lewis Adelson with Costell & Cornelius, of Santa Monica.

Uber has been sued at least 433 times this year, according to the Courthouse News database, on claims of negligence, failure to train, exaggerating the background checks it claims to do on its drivers, many injury accidents, including an alleged death caused by an Uber driver using his mobile phone while driving, and class actions about its treatment of drivers, including failing to secure workers’ compensation insurance for them, and failing to serve disabled passengers. Its CEO Travis Kalanick stepped down after repeated complaints about an abusive workplace and a major shareholder recently sued the company to get Kalanick booted from the board.

https://www.courthousenews.com/woman-says-uber-driver-pushed-speeding-car/

Uber driver LAUGHS as he brags about how he’s tempted to rape ‘beautiful women’ who get in his car

CAB 'RAPE' SHAME 

The shocking clip, recorded by a passenger, emerges just days after police claimed Uber was failing to report sex attacks by its drivers.

By Sun Reporter

20th August 2017, 8:57 pm

He is heard on the footage saying: “She was wearing one skirt, god her legs, she was so beautiful.

“I can understand why a lot of men, when they have that opportunity they are tempted to do some silly things, like rape the woman or just do what they are not supposed to do.

“Because I was honestly just, my mind was just there.”

The shocking clip emerged just days after police claimed Uber was failing to report sex attacks by its drivers.

It was filmed by the passenger, 26, at the start of a 23-minute journey from Crystal Palace to Croydon in South London.

He responds to the driver: “No way f*** that, I can’t get with that raping s***."

The passenger said: “I felt so disgusted. It made me think about my sisters and family who are woman who are using this app.”

Uber general manager Tom Elvidge said it had dropped the driver.

He said: “We were shocked at the abhorrent comments.”

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4251165/uber-driver-caught-bragging-how-he-was-tempted-to-rape-a-passenger/

Uber driver allegedly rapes unconscious Manhattan woman in his home after she falls asleep in his car

 

BYGRAHAM RAYMAN

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Friday, August 18, 2017, 4:00 PM

An East Village woman suffered a terrifying ordeal Thursday when she passed out in an Uber car and the driver took her to his apartment and raped her, police sources said.

The 31-year-old victim called for an Uber at E. 52nd St. and 2nd Ave. about 2 a.m. She told the 47-year-old driver to take her home and then fell asleep in the car, sources said.

The twisted cabbie took her to his Flushing apartment and raped her while she was still unconscious, sources said. She woke up, realized with shock that she wasn’t home and confronted the driver.

“I used protection — please don't call police,” he said according to police sources.

She fled his home and reported what happened to police she found nearby on 41st Road and College Point Blvd.

She told police she had a few drinks before hailing the ride and gave no consent for sex, sources said. Medics took her to Bellevue Hospital for examination.

Cops have identified the driver and are trying to locate him, sources said.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/uber-driver-rapes-manhattan-woman-falls-asleep-car-article-1.3423665

Uber driver locked 19-year-old passenger in car, demanded sex

 

Muhammad Fahim, 44, faces charges of unlawful restraint for locking a passenger in his vehicle and demanding that she have sex with him.

(COOK COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE)

BYMEGAN CERULLO

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Sunday, August 20, 2017, 10:55 PM

An Uber driver in Chicago allegedly locked a 19-year old passenger in his car and demanded that she have sex with him, authorities said.

Muhammad Fahim, 44, was ordered held on $100,000 bail Saturday for three counts of unlawful restraint in connection to the July 4 incident, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Fahim was charged in the incident after police stopped his vehicle for a traffic violation last week.

The victim requested an Uber, but her request was somehow deleted, prosecutors said.

The woman volunteered to pay for her ride in cash, but Fahim instead demanded sex from her, Assistant State’s Attorney Mikah Soliunas said.

When she refused, Fahim repeatedly locked the car’s doors, the Tribune reported.

He only offered to release her if she agreed to his demand, Soliunas said.

As the vehicle slowed in traffic, the woman was able to escape. She appeared to be uninjured, authorities said.

An Uber spokesman called the rider’s account of what happened “troubling,” according to the Tribune.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/uber-driver-locked-passenger-car-demanded-sex-article-1.3428247

Former Uber driver admits to exposing himself to multiple young girls

Updated on August 16, 2017 at 4:24 PM Posted on August 16, 2017 at 8:45 AM

By Melissa Hanson

A former Uber driver will spend 2 and 1/2 years in jail after admitting to exposing himself to multiple young girls in Malden and Everett last year, officials said.

Paul Griffin, 29, of Malden, pleaded guilty in Middlesex Superior Court on Tuesday to charges in connection with the series of indecent exposure incidents, according to the office of Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan.

Griffin was charged with six counts of open and gross lewdness, six counts of accosting and annoying a person of the opposite sex, operating a motor vehicle to endanger, failure to stop for police and resisting arrest.

Judge Christopher Barry-Smith sentenced Griffin to 2 and 1/2 years in the House of Correction, Ryan's office said. The judge also ordered that Griffin serve 3 years of probation, undergo a sex offender evaluation with all follow up treatment, stay away from all of the victims, wear a GPS monitoring bracelet for 6 months and refrain from any employment with a ride sharing or taxi company.

The first indecent exposure occurred on Aug. 7, 2016, read a statement from Ryan's office. Malden Police responded to the intersection of Mount Vernon and Starbird Street, where two juvenile girls told officers that a a man drove up next to them while they were walking and exposed himself.

On Aug. 27, another juvenile girl told Malden police that a week prior, she and a friend were walking on Hunting Street when a man in a car exposed himself to them.

http://www.masslive.com/news/worcester/index.ssf/2017/08/former_uber_driver_exposed_him.html