An Uber driver in Laguna Beach, CA has been arrested and charged with raping an unconscious 17-year-old passenger in the back seat of his car.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office said the 23-year-old driver picked up the girl near a bar around 2 a.m. on Saturday morning, ABC 7 reports, after a family member ordered the Uber to bring her home.
But when she didn’t arrive at home, officials said a family member tracked the Uber through the app and found the driver’s vehicle. Officials say the family member found the teen in the backseat of the driver’s car, parked near home.
Her family member pulled her out of the car while the driver moved to the front seat and fled. Laguna Beach police were able to identify the suspect by his description, license plate number, and his driver profile on the Uber app. He was arrested later that day.
According to the DA’s office, the driver knew the passenger was 17 and sexually assaulted her while she was intoxicated and unconscious. He was charged with one felony count of rape by use of drugs, one felony count of forcible oral copulation upon a minor over 14 years of age, one felony count of sexual penetration of a child over age 14 by foreign object and force, and one felony count of unlawful sexual intercourse.
“We’re devastated by what this family has gone through and our hearts are with them,” an Uber spokeswoman told Consumerist. “We’ll continue working with police to support the investigation and proceedings. The individual has been permanently barred from the app.”
Unfortunately, this is far from the first time we’ve heard reports of Uber drivers allegedly assaulting passengers: just last week, the company settled a lawsuit brought by two passengers who accused drivers of sexual assault.