A man posing as an Uber driver allegedly picked up a woman and sexually assaulted her on American University's campus early Sunday. The 21-year-old victim and her male friend told police they saw an Uber sticker on a car, which they flagged down for a ride near Dupont Circle in Washington, DC, according to NBC Washington.
The driver, El Houcine Jourhdaly, 36, of Springfield, Virginia, told the two he could drive them somewhere, and they both got in the car, according to police. But not long after, Jourhdaly pulled over and demanded the woman get in the front seat. She complied.
When Jourhdaly drove the two to their requested destination, the driver yelled at the victim’s friend, ordering him to get out. Police said he got out of the car and attempted to help his friend out of the front seat, but Jourhdaly sped off.
The woman's friend then called her phone. She answered, according to police, and said she didn’t know where Jourhdaly was taking her. Then, Jourhdaly allegedly got on the phone to say he was taking her to McDonald's.
In reality, the driver allegedly forced the woman out of the car when they reached American University and sexually assaulted her on the campus. After the attack, the woman reported the crime to campus police, though it is not clear if she is a student.
Police claim a video proves Jourhdaly's car had an Uber sticker before the assault. However, it was removed by the time police went to his home to interview him.
A spokesperson for Uber confirmed that Jourhdaly was no longer an active driver for the company and that he was banned from the app in 2015. Uber did not specify why he was removed.
Jourhdaly was arrested and charged with sexual abuse and kidnapping on Monday, the Metropolitan Police Department said in a press release. According to The Washington Post, Jourhdaly told detectives the woman "wanted to be with him." It is not immediately clear if Jourhdaly has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf.
[Photo: Getty Images]