At Least 103 Uber Drivers Have Been Accused of Sexual Assault or Abuse: Report
At least 103 Uber drivers have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing their customers in the last four years, according to an in-depth CNN report released on Tuesday.
Using police reports, court databases and federal court records, CNN identified at least 103 Uber drivers who have faced prosecution or civil cases after allegedly raping or sexually abusing passengers. The news outlet reported that while some of these drivers have been arrested, others are still wanted by the police.
The outlet reports that at least 31 of the drivers have been convicted of crimes ranging from false imprisonment to rape.
Last year, PEOPLE reported on a North Hollywood Uber driver — and convicted felon — who was arrested for allegedly driving an unconscious female passenger to a motel and sexually assaulting her,
Alaric Spence, 46, of North Hollywood, was arrested last June on suspicion of kidnapping to commit sexual assault after authorities alleged he picked up an intoxicated 24-year-old woman who lost consciousness in her vehicle. Instead of taking her to her destination, Spence allegedly drove her to a motel, where he rented a room, say police. He allegedly carried the unconscious woman inside the motel room and sexually assaulted her.
Spence has pleaded not guilty and is being held on $1.1 million bond. His next court date is May 18; his attorney did not immediately return PEOPLE’s calls for comment.
CNN found similar cases in their months-long investigation.
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In one case, a woman told CNN that she had been drinking in San Diego and called an Uber. She passed out on the ride home. When she awoke, she says she found the driver on top of her in the back of the car.
Another woman told CNN that an Uber driver in Miami had sexually assaulted her while she was intoxicated and had passed out. She alleged the driver, who has been charged, had carried her into her apartment and raped her.
“You are pretty much hitchhiking with strangers,” the woman told CNN. “How many people is it going to take to get assaulted before something is done?”
Uber released a statement after CNN’s investigation.
“These stories are horrific and our hearts go out to the victims,” the statement read. “We worked with CNN to understand their findings and determined that Uber did 2.4 billion trips in the U.S. in that same period. But even one incident on our platform is too many, which is why safety is Uber’s top priority for 2018 and beyond.”
“We recently strengthened our safety approach with new features including an emergency button, driver screening improvements, and the addition of the former Secretary of Homeland Security to head up Uber’s Safety Advisory Board,” the statement reads. “This is just a start and we are committed to doing even more.”
Uber does not release data on the number of people sexually assaulted by its drivers.