Uber driver is accused of raping a woman he picked up from a bar in Orange County
Uber headquarters in San Francisco. An Uber driver in Orange County has been charged with raping a passenger after picking her up from a bar, prosecutors said. (Eric Risberg / Associated Press)
Prosecutors are seeking possible victims connected to an Uber driver who has been charged with raping a female passenger after he picked her up from a bar in Fullerton.
Omar Mahmoud Mousa, 52, of Anaheim appeared in court Thursday, where his bail was set at $100,000, said Roxi Fyad, spokeswoman of the Orange County district attorney’s office. His arraignment was scheduled for April 8.
Mousa was taken into custody March 7 at the Los Angeles International Airport on an arrest warrant after he returned to the country, prosecutors said. He has been charged with one felony count of forcible rape and two other felony sex-related offenses, according to the district attorney’s office. If convicted, he faces up to 24 years in state prison.
The assault occurred on the night of Oct. 24, 2015, when Mousa was working as a driver for the popular app-based ride-sharing company, prosecutors say. They believe there may be more victims.
Mousa picked up the 21-year-old victim and her friend at a motel in Anaheim and drove them to a bar, prosecutors say. Mousa is believed to have given the women his business card, telling them to call him when they were ready to leave instead of using the Uber app on their phones.
Hours later, the victim and her friend called Mousa, who picked them up from the bar and drove them back to the motel in Anaheim, prosecutors say.
According to the district attorney’s office, he walked the woman and her friend to their motel room.
While the woman’s friend was passed out on the bed, Mousa placed the victim on the same bed and began sexually assaulting her while she was intoxicated, prosecutors said.
She repeatedly told Mousa “no” and pushed him away, the district attorney’s office said. He then left the motel room and drove away, prosecutors say.
The victim reported the attack to the Anaheim Police Department later that day.
“Uber has a zero-tolerance policy for violent behavior, and our thoughts are with the victim of this atrocious crime,” Uber said in a statement. “We immediately blocked this individual’s access to the Uber platform upon learning of this incident and actively assisted law enforcement in their investigation.”
This week, Los Angeles city officials sent a letter to the California Public Utilities Commission, urging regulators to impose fingerprint scans and background checks on Uber, Lyft and limousines drivers in the city. Uber and Lyft do not use fingerprint-based background checks.
The companies have said their background checks are comprehensive.
Anyone with information related to the case against Mousa is urged to call Supervising District Attorney Investigator Mark Gutierrez at (714) 347-8794.
Reposted From: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-uber-driver-charged-rape-passenger-20160317-story.html