Lawsuit: Woman Accuses Uber Driver of Driving Her to a Motel and Raping Her
A woman who has only identified herself as Jane Doe filed a lawsuit against Uber and a former driver, claiming the driver drove her to a motel in June 2017 while she was unconscious and then raped her.
Alaric Spence pleaded not guilty to one felony count each of kidnapping to commit rape, rape of an unconscious person and rape by use of drugs in Los Angeles Superior Court and is currently awaiting a preliminary hearing.
The lawsuit states that Doe went to a work event in downtown Los Angeles the day before and had an Uber driver take her to her boyfriend’s West Hollywood home because she had consumed too much alcohol. She said that Spence drove toward her destination and gave her a date-rape drug to make her unconscious. He then allegedly drove to the Ritz Motel in North Hollywood and carried her into a room and raped her.
When Doe woke up later, she realized that she had been raped after she discovered two used condoms in the room. Spence was arrested soon after the incident.
Doe is seeking unspecified damages in the lawsuit and several reforms within Uber, such as an implementation of a policy that requires cameras to be placed in Uber vehicles and a panic button on the Uber app.
“What the rider reported to police is horrifying and has no place anywhere in our society. Our hearts are with the victim,” a spokesperson for Uber said in a statement.
Uber said that it couldn’t comment further on the lawsuit, but emphasized that the company has recently improved safety features, including more thorough driver background checks and an emergency button.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time an Uber driver has been accused of sexually assaulting a passenger. In October 2017, Ali Alsheik allegedly sexually assaulted a female passenger while he drove her back to her home in Iowa City.
The woman sat in the front seat during the ride. Police said that Alsheik took an indirect route to her home and stopped along the way and sexually assaulted her.
Alsheik said he didn’t have any sexual contact with the passenger and accused her of making sexual advances toward him. He was charged with third degree sexual abuse, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
If you or someone you love has suffered from sexual assault, it may be in your best interest to reach out to Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for a free consultation.