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A New York Woman Says Her Uber Driver Kidnapped and Raped Her

A woman in New York has filed a sexual assault lawsuit against Uber, alleging that she was kidnapped and raped by a driver from the ride-sharing app.

In a complaint filed in Kings County last month, Amber Moye said she was assaulted by an Uber driver on or around 30 December 2018 in Brooklyn, New York.

“It just really messed me up mentally more than anything else,” said Ms Moye in an emotional interview with The Independent. “And if you’re not right mentally you’re not right anywhere else.”

The lawsuit recounts how Ms Moye ordered an Uber home after a night out. The 25-year-old, who’d been drinking, fell asleep in the backseat of the car, court documents state. When she woke up, the car was parked and the driver was in the backseat with her.

Not knowing exactly what had happened, Ms Moye exited the car and went home. At work the following day, Ms Moye said she started suffering vaginal pain that she believed could have stemmed from an assault.

She spoke to her family and decided to go to the hospital to undergo an examination. At Brookdale Hospital Medical Center, officials administered a rape kit and confirmed that Ms Moye had been assaulted and the New York City Police Department’s special victims unit came to the hospital to interview her, the complaint states.

In a written statement regarding the case, an Uber spokesperson said, “sexual assault is a horrific crime, and has no place in our society or in on the Uber platform.” They said that the company was committed to safety and on building “innovative features and policies that help make the platform safer for all.”

“While we cannot comment on pending litigation, we take any report of this nature very seriously,” the spokesperson said.

Ride-sharing drivers sexually assaulting passengers has been a known issue for nearly a decade. In 2022, Uber published a US safety report with sexual harassment and assault data from 2019 to 2020. Within that time frame, the company said it logged more than 3,000 incidents. That number, however, was down from previous years.

Uber has faced increasing pressure to change its safety measures for years. In 2014, India’s Delhi region banned the company from operating after one of its drivers allegedly sexually assaulted a passenger. The driver had been detained three years prior to the assault for suspicion of raping another passenger.

Uber is not the only rideshare company to face this type of scrutiny. In recent years, female passengers have sued similar entities, claiming to have been raped, kidnapped or sexually assaulted while using their apps.

Ms Moye’s lawsuit was brought against Uber and Raiser LLC — a subsidiary of the company — under New York’s now-expired Adult Survivors Act, a piece of legislation that allowed adult survivors of sexual abuse to file civil claims against their assailants during a one-year lookback window regardless of when the crime occurred.

The lawsuit is one of at least about 100 sexual assault and harassment cases that have been filed by Slater Slater Schulman LLP, the firm representing Ms Moye, against Uber.

“These are assaults that are happening today, tomorrow, and the fact that the company hasn’t made any changes, it’s just going to mean that this will continue,” Jaime M Farrell, an attorney from Slater Slater Schulman LLP representing Ms Moye, said.

Neither Ms Moye or her attorneys know if her driver was ever prosecuted.

Her own life has been disrupted though. Ms Moye said the assault left her feeling humiliated, violated, and robbed of her dignity and personal safety. The mental suffering resulted in her losing her job as a hostess at an airport. She is currently unemployed.

“Can’t do nothing if you’re mentally not right,” she said.

But she’s determined to speak out and have her story help other women. She wants Uber to change how it vets its drivers, by conducting stronger background checks and removing drivers that have been the subject of complaints.

“This is happening too often,” Ms Moye said.

Source: Independent