Ride-sharing service Uber may be facing a sexual assault case involving one of its drivers after after a 39-year-old man was arrested over an incident in Sydney on the weekend.
The man, who claimed to be an Uber driver, was arrested at his home in Lakemba yesterday and charged him with sexual intercourse without consent. He was refused bail and appeared in Burwood Local Court today.
Police allege a 22-year-old woman was walking along Bayswater Road, Vaucluse, about 12.30am on Sunday, when a Hyundai i30 stopped and offered her a lift home.
The trip was not booked through the ride-sharing service’s app.
The woman got into the car and the driver allegedly went to a nearby side street, where he assaulted the woman. The victim reported the incident to police at Rose Bay.
Fairfax Media reports the victim was an English tourist who’d recently arrived in Australia and the alleged assailant is from Pakistan. Police are believed to have CCTV footage of the man buying condoms at a service station in Edgecliff before the assault. He claims the sex was consensual.
A spokesperson for Uber says that despite the man’s claim, they have yet to establish whether he was associated with the platform.
“Our thoughts remain with the victim and her family in this terrible situation. We will do everything we can to work with the police to help with their investigation,” the Uber spokesperson said.
In December last year, claims that an Uber driver had raped a passenger in New Delhi led the government to ban the US-based ride-sharing service before the Delhi High Court overturned the decision several months later in July following an application from Uber.