A former Lyft driver in Illinois is accused of kidnapping a passenger and sexually assaulting her.
Alexander Sowa, 34, who was working as a Lyft rideshare driver at the time, picked up a female passenger in Elk Grove Village on May 2 who requested a ride to a nearby city of Des Plaines, Mount Prospect police said in a statement. Sowa allegedly drove the passenger to a location in Elk Grove Village instead.
“Sowa proceeded to sexually assault the victim,” police wrote. “Sowa then continued to drive the victim around and eventually drove to the parking garage in Mount Prospect, where he once again engaged in a sexual assault.”
During the second alleged sexual assault, the victim was able to escape and flag someone for help. They then called 911 for her.
“She was going and trying to take a safe ride somewhere and unfortunately this person victimized her,” Mount Prospect Police Officer Greg Sill told WLS-TV in Chicago.
Sowa has been charged with one felony count of criminal sexual assault by Mount Prospect Police Department. The Elk Grove Village Police Department has also charged Sowa with criminal offenses.
It’s not clear if Sowa has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf. His bond was set at $10K. He’s due back in court on May 30.
Lyft has fired and permanently banned Sowa, according to WLS-TV.
“Safety is our top priority,” a statement from the ride-sharing app reads. “The behavior described is deeply disturbing and absolutely unacceptable. We have been in touch with law enforcement to offer our assistance with their investigation.”
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