Uber Driver Facing Charges of Sexual Assault
An Uber driver is facing charges in two sexual assault investigations.
Constable David Hopkinson, with Toronto Police, tells Newstalk1010 that they responded to a call on September 6th, 2018, in the area of Dundas and Sackville Streets around 1:15 in the morning - hours after the victim's frightening ordeal began.
Police say a 24 year-old woman got into a black SUV, she believed was the Uber she had ordered. The driver allegedly drove off, locking the doors and preventing her from getting out.
The woman alleges that the suspect drove to a secluded spot where he sexually assaulted her.
"She was kept in the car for a number of hours after that - finally being let go and she contacted police."
The same thing reportedly happened to a 21 year-old woman this year. Police were called, after the incident, to the area of Royal York Road and Evans Avenue on April 8th.
The young woman said she entered a black SUV driven by a man, who drove her from Toronto to Mississauga.
Police say he took her to a fast food restaurant parking lot in Mississauga, where she tried to get help from bystander, but was unsuccessful.
"She did manage to get out of the vehicle. She spoke to a bystander. We're hoping that that person she spoke to remembers the incident and can come forward and give us some information that can help our case."
Somehow, the Uber driver managed to get her back into the vehicle. He then drove back to a secluded side street in Toronto, near Royal York Road and Evans Avenue, where he sexually assaulted her.
She was dropped off later that morning and then contacted police.
Police have arrested and charged 36 year-old Taneem Aziz of Mississauga.
He's been charged with two counts of sexual assault, forcible confinement and extortion.
Aziz is scheduled to appear in a Toronto courtroom on May 23rd.
Police believe there may be other victims.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7474, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, online on their Facebook Leave a Tip page, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637).
Police are not blaming the victims, but want to issue a warning to people - especially anyone travelling alone - who uses ride-sharing apps:
"Sometimes people don't check their app to see who the drivers going to be, see the description of the car, so that they can compare them and make sure they're getting into the right car."
"We would just like people to be more cognizant of who it is that's picking them up."
Meantime, a spokesperson with Uber issued a statement saying, " What's been reported is horrible and nothing anyone should go through. We are fully cooperating with law enforcement and will continue to provide any information to them that would be helpful for their investigation. As soon as we learned of this, we removed the individual's access to the app."
With files from the Toronto Police Service