BOSTON, Mass.– An Uber cab driver has been accused of raping one of his passengers.
The incident occurred less than a day after the company promised it would “develop more ways … to ensure the safety of riders.”
The driver, 46-year-old, Alejandro Done was arraigned without bail on Wednesday.
He allegedly told the victim that she needed to pay in cash. He then took her to a nearby ATM machine, locked himself in the back of the car with her, and proceeded to cover her mouth and sexually assault her.
An Uber spokesperson told a local CBS station that this was a “despicable crime,” but also said that Done had passed a background check.
Lawsuits from the district attorneys in LA and San Francisco allege that the Uber misrepresents the quality of its background-checking process, and doesn’t use fingerprints to verify the applicant — unlike taxi companies, which are required to fingerprint drivers.
The assurance of safety came after two of the three sexual assaults in Boston over the weekend were reported to be Uber cab drivers.
Done’s arrest couldn’t have come at a worse time for Uber, given that the company published a lengthy blog post Wednesday titled “Our Commitment to Safety.”
The blog post displayed Uber’s new head of global safety, Phillip Cardenas, claiming the company had “built the safest transportation option in 260 cities around the world,” and that it conducts “thorough, multi-layered background checks that have resulted in tens-of-thousands of potential drivers being denied the opportunity to partner on the Uber platform.”
After an Uber driver in New Delhi was accused of rape earlier this month, local law enforcement questioned an Uber executive over its background-check procedure.
An official raised the possibility of criminal charges against the company for misrepresenting its background checks.