Uber has been in the news a great deal lately for a number of reasons related to the harassment and assault of women, but it turns out that Lyft’s record isn’t spotless in this regard either.
CNN Report Highlights Wide-Spread Sexual Assault Issue
According to information gathered by CNN, more than 120 drivers for Lyft and Uber have been charged with sexually assaulting their passengers over the past four years. These crimes include kidnapping, forcible touching, raping and more of their passengers. CNN learned that as of this writing 31 of these drivers have been convicted of crimes. These include false imprisonment, forcible touching, and rape. In addition, there are dozens of criminal and civil cases still pending a resolution.
Just Scratching the Surface
CNN noted in its report that there is currently no publicly available data that categorizes sexual assaults by drivers with ride-share companies like Lyft and Uber. To obtain the statistics needed for its report, CNN simply reviewed the databases for county courts and federal court records for 20 major cities across the United States. This suggests that the number of actual sexual assaults and other related crimes is likely to be significantly higher.
This is demonstrated by a report that came out of Mandan, North Dakota. According to information, the victim told Bismarck police, a Lyft driver named Corey Wickham, 39, picked her up from a bar shortly after 1 AM on August 25, 2018. All seemed to go well until the vehicle arrived at the 26-year-old woman’s destination. At that point, Wickham grabbed the woman to stop her from leaving. He kissed her on the lips and touched her in an inappropriate manner as she tried to exit the vehicle.
The next morning, the woman told police that she woke up to discover that her clothing was covered in blood. She went to a local hospital where a sexual assault kit was performed. Nurses found abrasions and irritation. Wickham was arrested on two counts of gross sexual imposition. He was given a cash bond of $500,000 and ordered to have no contact with the woman.
In another report, this one out of Pontiac, Michigan, a female passenger was sexually assaulted by a Lyft driver after she refused his offer of $1,000 in exchange for sex. The woman, who had previously used 24-year-old Raheel Bin Hanif of Waterford Township as a Lyft Driver without incident, was offered $400 by the driver in exchange for a massage at a health spa he owned. Afterward, Hanif offered the woman $1,000 to have sex with him. When she refused, Hanif assaulted her before driving her back to her home.
This incident, which took place in May 2018, resulted in Hanif being booked into jail on three counts of third-degree criminal sexual contact. Hanif was also a possible suspect in a December sexual assault. At that time, there wasn’t enough evidence for a warrant. Law enforcement renewed their efforts in that case after his arrest.
Though things seem to be changing in terms of how ride-sharing companies are handling their sexual assault cases, more work needs to be done. Contact the Uber and Lyft lawyers at The Elan Law Firm if you’ve experienced a sexual assault in a ride-sharing vehicle.