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U.S. attorney dropping case against Uber driver

Friday - 4/5/2013, 7:42am  ET

Update - Friday - 4/5/2013, 5:15 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON - The U.S. attorney's office in D.C. has stopped an investigation into an Uber car service driver accused of raping a customer and is not prosecuting the case against him.

The Washington Post reports statements by the alleged victim and suspect contradicted each other about sexual contact being consensual, and physical evidence did not support what each said happened in the incident.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office declined comment to the Post beyond saying the office "concluded the investigation without filing charges."

Read more on the story from The Washington Post.


Earlier - Thursday - 3/14/2013, 5:05pm ET

WASHINGTON - The U.S. attorney's office says it has reviewed the case and is not moving forward with charges at this time against a 35-year-old Uber driver accused of raping a 20-year-old customer.

The investigation is ongoing.


Earlier - Thursday - 3/14/2013, 3:27pm ET

WASHINGTON - A 35-year-old Uber driver has been arrested for allegedly raping a 20-year-old customer last year.

The driver was arrested Tuesday and charged with first-degree sexual assault for the Dec. 8 attack.

Authorities say the victim was raped in the driveway of her Cleveland Park home after celebrating a friend's birthday on U Street, according to court documents.

She told police the driver repeatedly tried to make small talk during the ride home. At one point, Trabelsi asked the victim if she had ever dated a Moroccan man. She did not respond, according to court documents.

The victim says she had already paid the $36 fare and was walking to her door when the driver came up behind her and grabbed her arms. She said she fell to the ground, hit her head and was sexually assaulted.

The woman was taken to a local hospital later that night.

The driver's wife tells The Washington Post that her husband is innocent and that the alleged victim made advances on her husband. She would not say whether there was any sexual contact between the two.

Uber D.C. says the driver has not completed any rides through Uber since the incident.

"We have worked closely with the police and prosecutors investigating this incident, and will continue to help them in any way possible," Uber says in a statement. "The safety of our users is absolutely paramount, and we will continue to be vigilant that riders' safety and security are protected."

Last month, an Arlington resident filed suit against Uber after allegedly being verbally abused, physically assaulted and kicked out of a car he hired to pick him and a friend up from 9th and U streets in Northwest D.C.

Seth Bender says the trouble started when he burped and excused himself, prompting the driver to become angry and say that he "hates Americans and homosexuals."

The driver then slapped Bender in the face and spit on him, the man says.

Bender is suing for $750,000 in damages.

The private taxi service does not hire its own drivers, but partners with drivers who use the company's technology to transport passengers.

All drivers are insured and licensed, an Uber spokesman says. It is not clear if Uber conducts criminal background checks on its drivers.

The "Earlier" version of this story has been updated and modified.

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