As unfortunate as it is to say, Uber is no stranger to having drivers commit acts of sexual assault. Now, the company finds itself in the spotlight again, after an Uber driver was arrested and charged with raping an unconscious teenager in California, CNET reports.
At around 2 a.m. November 5 in Laguna Beach, California, 23-year-old Samer Alaaeldin Mahran picked the teenager up after one of her family members hailed a ride to take her home, police said. Concern set in after the teenager did not arrive home, so another relative used Uber’s in-app tracking feature to find out where she was, according to police.
Relatives eventually learned of her location, and reportedly found Mahran sexually assaulting the teenager, who was unconscious due to intoxication, in the back seat of the car, police said. Mahran reportedly fled the scene, and authorities arrested him at his apartment the next day.
Mahran was charged with one count of rape by use of drugs, one count of unlawful sexual intercourse, one count of sexual penetration of a child over age 14 by foreign object and force, and one count of forcible oral copulation upon a minor over 14 years of age, with all four counts being felonies. If convicted, Mahran faces a maximum sentence of 28 years in a Florida state prison.
Mahran was released from jail after posting a $100,000 bond, with an arraignment scheduled for December 2.
For its part, Uber confirmed it will assist the police in its investigation into the matter. Uber also confirmed that Mahran can no longer access the app, thus removing his ability to drive for the company.
“We’re devastated by what this family has gone through and our hearts are with them,” said an Uber spokesperson. “We’ll continue working with police to support the investigation and proceedings. The individual has been permanently barred from the app.”
As initially mentioned, sexual assaults by Uber drivers is not exactly a new topic for the company. Back in August, a former Uber driver was charged with raping a 16-year-old teenager, with the company recently settling two sexual assault cases.