An Uber driver has been charged with sexually assaulting a female passenger in November, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Maxime Fohounhedo, 30, allegedly sexually assaulted his 22-year-old female passenger on Nov. 16.
The woman requested a ride at 2:30 a.m. after a night out with friends, DNAinfo reports, citing a police report filed that day.
After the woman got into the vehicle, she fell asleep. The driver then reportedly told the woman to sit in the front seat of his car instead of the back and said he wasn’t familiar with the area he was dropping the woman off in, according to the Chicago Tribune.
She allegedly woke up in an apartment with Fohounhedo on top of her.
Fohounhedo later drove the woman home in the same car, telling her “I made you happy,” according to assistant state’s attorney Robert Mack.
The woman allegedly sent a text to a friend around 4 a.m. that night regarding the assault. “I was just sexually assaulted by my Uber driver and I’m supberb (sic) drunk, but I need someone to remind me to follow through to make sure this never happens again,” she texted, according to the police report obtained by DNAinfo.
While the case is in court, Fohounhedo has been banned from driving for Uber, Judge Peggy Chiampas said. Chiampas also set bail for Fohounhedo at $US500,000.
“He will not be Ubering anybody,” Chiampas said at a bond hearing Tuesday, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Earlier this month, Uber also removed Fohounhedo from its platform while the investigation continued.
Assistant state’s attorney Robert Mack said that while Fohounhedo’s picture and phone number are listed on his Uber account, the account is actually in his wife’s name. According to the Tribune,
Fohounhedo’s lawyer says Fohounhedo shares the Uber account with his wife.
Uber offered the following comment:
“Account sharing is expressly prohibited on the Uber platform. Mr. and Mrs. Fohounhedo committed fraud in this deplorable act and we are exploring all legal options. All details regarding this fraud and Mr. Fohounhedo’s illegal activities have been shared with the Chicago Police Department and Uber will continue cooperating with the authorities.
“In addition to a zero tolerance policy for account sharing, Uber conducts real-time audits of drivers on the platform, regularly re-checks driver photos and monitors rider feedback on an ongoing basis. We have also initiated research and development on biometrics and voice verification as part of our global safety review and investments.”
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