By Jeremy Gorner contact the reporter Sexual Assault Crime Uber Chicago Police Department

Chicago police investigating rape allegation against Uber driver
The online car service Uber says it has “removed” one of its drivers as police investigate allegations that he sexually assaulted a female customer in Lincoln Square last month.


The woman told police she had been out with friends from work when she called for an Uber car at 2:50 a.m. on Nov. 16, according to the police report. She got in the back seat but the driver asked that she sit in front because he was unfamiliar with the area, police said.
When they reached Lawrence and Western avenues, the driver began assaulting the woman and she blacked out, according to the report.

The woman told police she woke up later in a home with the driver on top of her, sexually assaulting her. The driver eventually took her home, where she texted a friend saying she was raped by an Uber cab driver, according to the police report.

Hours later, the woman walked into the 20th District police station and talked to officers, then went to Swedish Covenant Hospital, according to the police report.


Chicago police said in a statement Wednesday that detectives “have been in contact with the victim and Uber personnel” and that they “continue to investigate” the alleged incident.

Uber spokeswoman Jennifer Mullin declined to discuss details but released a statement saying “we immediately removed the driver from the Uber platform when we learned of the incident and are cooperating with the Chicago Police Department in the ongoing investigation.

“This is an appalling and unacceptable incident, and first and foremost our thoughts are with the victim and her family,” she added.

Uber mobile app
The Uber app is seen on a smartphone past cabs waiting for riders. (AFP/Getty Images)
Mullin said all drivers with the ridesharing service undergo a “rigorous background check.”

The attack allegedly occurred last month and no charges have been filed, according to police.

Uber is one of several ride-sharing services gaining popularity in cities, despite opposition from taxi companies that typically operate under stricter regulations.

The Chicago investigation comes as Uber has been in the news in other states,
On Tuesday, California prosecutors said a former Uber driver was charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in the death of a 6-year-old girl who was struck in a San Francisco crosswalk on New Year’s Eve.

On Monday, Portland, Ore. sued Uber to stop the service from operating in the city until it follows local regulations.

The same day, the company was banned from operating in India’s capital, New Delhi, after a female passenger accused one of its drivers of rape.

The fast-growing company was valued at $40 billion last week after its latest funding round ahead of an expected initial public offering.