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According to KCTV5 News, a 37-year-old Uber driver, Mechamed Gayusi, has been charged with “aggravated sexual battery in Johnson County.”
The alleged victim stated that she was intoxicated and fell asleep and when she woke up, he was on top of her. The criminal complaint against Gayusi indicates the following:
… Gayusi ‘unlawfully and feloniously’ touched someone ‘who did not consent to the touching’ and was ‘unconscious or physically powerless or was incapable of giving consent because of the effect of any alcoholic liquor, narcotic, drug, or other substance.’ (Source.)
The incident was alleged to have taken place on February 20, 2022. The passenger who was riding in the back seat was intoxicated and must have fallen asleep to have woken up to discover someone was on top of her. There is little information having been reported about the passenger other than she is older than 18 years.
Gayusi, who was an Uber employee, has had his bond set at $25,00. The court requires Gayusi to be electronically monitored, and he’s also not allowed to be an Uber driver or some other commercial driver.
Gayusi’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for early March.
This isn’t the first time charges have been made in association with an Uber driver
Charges were brought against a passenger for assaulting an Uber driver on January 15, 2022. As reported by WDBJ7 out of Virginia, via CNN Newsource, a Tennessee Uber driver was allegedly assaulted and raped by her passenger for 90 minutes. The first responders could not find her precise location despite attempts to locate her until she was finally able to call 911. The driver/victim was only about 3 miles from Chili’s restaurant.
A Chili’s employee in Chattanooga, Tennessee called for an Uber at approximately 9:00 p.m. for a customer, 36-year-old Zachery Johnson, whom the employee believed was intoxicated.
The report says the suspect ‘became aggressive with her and came out of his seat and began assaulting her. He wrapped his arms around her, grabbed her by the throat and began kissing her face.’ (Source.)
Johnson was ultimately arrested. He was charged with aggravated rape, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, aggravated sexual battery and carjacking. Johnson won’t be able to access the rideshare app anymore. Uber described the incident report as “gut wrenching.”
According to SelectJustice.com,
[W]hile there’s some benefits to calling up Uber for a ride, passengers (and some drivers) reported almost 6,000 cases of sexual assault across 2017 and 2018. Those figures are for Uber in the United States alone. Uber and Lyft operate around the world, and many non-American companies, like Ola (India/Australia) and Didi (China), have also had issues with drivers assaulting passengers. Source.
I’m confident that I would not travel alone when contacting Uber for a ride. I have been a passenger with an Uber driver several times. I only had one negative experience in which the driver was extremely rude. All other experiences were positive.
It’s not just Uber associated with allegations
Mercury News reported in June 2021 that sexual assault charges aren’t limited to Uber; they involve Lyft also.
Allegations that ride-sharing drivers have sexually assaulted female passengers are not limited to Uber. The firm’s San Francisco rival Lyft is the subject of a similar legal action, also facing dozens of claims that have been consolidated into one legal action. Source.
Reported in The Verge’s article entitled, Uber’s first ever safety report discloses 3,045 sexual assaults and nine murders in the US last year in December 2019, an Uber comprehensive report indicated that for part of 2017 and all of 2018, there were 3,045 sexual assaults reported.
The assaults don’t just involve passengers, they involve drivers as well. From December 2018 through December 2019, there were some 1.3 billion Uber trips made. A lot of assaults could also be unreported.
A woman in Colorado says she was attacked in an alley behind a bar by her driver, who told her she asked for it because of what she was wearing. And a woman in Georgia claims she was raped and beaten by her driver, who then stalked her for weeks to keep her from reporting the assault. (Source.)
Published in Bloomberg Law is more information regarding the company response of Uber.
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