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Rideshare Driver Charged With Sexual Assault of a Passenger

Published on Oct 26, 2020 at 7:19 am in News.

A rideshare driver is on trial for four counts of indecent assault against a 22-year-old woman in October of last year. No official verdict has been released, as the hearing was adjourned to allow the victim the opportunity to compose herself.

According to the unidentified woman, Ootamcoomar Dhurumsing, 52, picked her up on a late-night trip from her southern suburbs home to Northbridge. When she went to get in the backseat, the doors were locked and Dhurumsing told her the doors were broken. As a result, she got in the front seat.

Once the vehicle entered the freeway, the woman said the driver started asking her questions, like whether she had a boyfriend and if he could touch her. She denied his advances, but he continued. The woman started texting her boyfriend, telling him what was happening. While he attempted to call her multiple times, the woman did not answer out of fear.

The driver asked if he could take her to a “private place,” to which she replied no. When they arrived at her destination, she tried to get out of the car, but the doors remained locked. She was only able to exit after telling Dhurumsing to pick her up in an hour.

Under cross-examination from Jim Sutherland, Dhurumsing’s lawyer, maintained her text messages to her boyfriend were truthful and rejected the suggestion she had sent them in an effort to get attention.

The company the rideshare driver was working for has not been disclosed, nor has any company commented on the case. In an effort to reduce the number of rideshare assaults, however, companies like Uber and Lyft have implemented safety measures for passengers.

For example, through the Uber app, passengers have the ability to report a crash, call the Uber Safety Line, or contact emergency services. Passengers can also report instances once a ride has been completed within the app. In regard to Lyft, a critical response team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When a passenger requests a call, a critical response team member will call them back as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, situations like the one described above happen all too often between rideshare drivers and passengers. In the event you’ve been involved in an incident with a rideshare driver, you may have grounds to pursue legal action. Contact the Rideshare Law Group today to learn more.