PD: Uber driver accused of sex assault in Avon

Posted at 10:07 PM, Sep 10, 2015

Avon Police said a driver for the ride sharing service Uber has been accused of sexually assaulting one of his passengers.

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Detective Eric Bergen told on Thursday that the victim said she was picked up at about 5:30 a.m. on Aug. 16 at a home in Avon's Highland Park subdivision.

She was dropped off at a clubhouse in the Stonebridge development off Highway 611.

In a 911 call, the accuser said she chose to be dropped off at the clubhouse so the driver would not find out where she lived.

Bergen said the woman fled the vehicle and ran into some bushes before calling 911. Bergen said when officers arrived, the woman was visibly shaken and crying.

The driver's name is not being released because he has not yet been charged with a crime.

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Bergen said the driver is cooperating with the investigation and submitted to an interview.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is currently reviewing a sexual assault kit, which will then be sent to a grand jury to decide if charges should be filed.

Uber is a service that allows drivers to pick up and drop off passengers in the driver's personal vehicle using a smartphone app.

Reached by phone, a company spokesperson said they were cooperating with police, adding they were "deeply troubled by the report."

As for its drivers, Uber said it performs rigorous third-party background checks that scan criminal and sex offender databases going back seven years.

Critics, lobbying on behalf of taxicab drivers, said this incident shows those third party checks are not good enough.

"Uber drivers need to be fingerprinted and they need to receive criminal background checks conducted by law enforcement, not by a private company," said Dave Sutton, the spokesperson for Who's Driving You.

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According to Uber, Columbus is the only Ohio city that requires drivers to submit to fingerprinting through the Bureau of Criminal Investigation.


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