Adding to the list of Uber drivers accused or charged with sexually assaulting their customers, a Boston Uber driver is facing charges that he raped and kidnapped a woman who requested the ride-sharing service earlier this month.
The 46-year-old man, Alejandro Done, was held without bail at his arraignment Wednesday, where he pleaded not guilty to rape charges.
Done picked the woman up on Tremont Street in Boston on the evening of Dec. 6. During the ride, Done told the woman she would need to pay cash, although Uber requires passengers to pay with a debit or credit card through the app.
According to the Boston Globe:
When the woman was in the car, Done allegedly told her she would need to pay with cash and drove her to an ATM. After she got back into the car, he allegedly drove to a secluded area, Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan’s office said.
Done then allegedly stopped and jumped into the back seat and struck the woman, the office said. He allegedly strangled her, locked the car doors to keep her from escaping, and covered her mouth so she could not scream, prosecutors said in the statement.
Prosecutors allege that Done sexually assaulted the woman during the struggle. The woman reported the alleged assault to Cambridge police.
Police identified Done as the driver of the car through Uber’s records, and the woman confirmed his identity, prosecutors said.
Uber spokesperson Kaitlin Durkosh called the incident a “despicable crime.” She also said company representatives are cooperating with police to help with an investigation. Another spokesperson confirmed Done did work for Uber and had passed a background check. Ironically (and amid the sexual assault scandals facing the company worldwide), Uber has lobbied to keep themselves from being subject to the same level of background checks that taxi cab drivers undergo.
Done’s incident marks the fourth time this month a customer has reported being raped or assaulted by a ride-share driver in the Boston area.
SOURCE: Boston Globe | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty