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District of Columbia police say they have arrested an Uber driver for sexually assaulting a passenger in the early morning hours of July 20.

Reshad Ahmad Chakari, 32, was charged with second degree sexual abuse on Friday for touching the passenger while she slept in the vehicle.

According to an affidavit in support of an arrest warrant, the woman who filed the complaint was out with friends for her birthday at Lux Lounge on New York Avenue NW when she decided she wanted to go home early. A friend used Uber through his own account to call a car for her, and the driver was supposed to take her back to the District Hotel at 1440 Rhode Island Avenue NW, where she was staying.

In the affadavit, the woman says she passed out in the cab and that when she woke, the driver was rubbing her breasts. She then fell back asleep, according to court documents, and woke up again to the sound of car doors locking. The cab had stopped and the driver was feeling her breasts and pulling down her underwear down to her knees. She says she asked the driver to be let out of the vehicle, but he refused and at one point asked if he could go back to her hotel with her. In a follow-up interview with authorities, she said Chakari briefly penetrated her with his finger or another thin object.

The victim was able to send two text messages to the friend who called Uber. That friend called her phone, which startled the driver, according to the documents. He then took her to a hotel adjacent to the District Hotel, called the hotel and asked the front-desk attendee not to let anyone up to the room with the woman.

Police were able to track down Chakari because the friend’s Uber receipt included the name of the driver and the make of his car.

Uber released a statement regarding the recent arrest.

“Rider safety is Uber’s #1 priority,” the statement read. “We take reports like this seriously and are treating the matter with the utmost urgency and care.”

Chakari has been released on bond, but is prohibited from working for Uber or any car service until his case is complete.

SOURCE: Washington City Paper | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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