MALDEN, MASS. (WHDH) - A former Uber driver charged with raping a 16-year-old passenger collapsed and sobbed in court, briefly delaying his arraignment.
After collecting himself, Darnell Booth, of Boston, was held without bail. He pleaded not guilty to rape Thursday in Malden District Court. A hearing to determine whether he’s a danger to society is scheduled for Monday.
According to the District Attorney, on June 30 the victim used the Uber app and was picked up by Booth. On July 4, the victim noticed she had been added to a Snapchat account she believed to be Booth’s account. At around 11 p.m., Booth allegedly told the victim through Snapchat he was outside of her home and asked her to come outside. The victim declined.
On July 5, the victim was running late for the bus and missed it. Booth allegedly sent the victim a message through Snapchat, not the Uber app, asking her if she needed a ride. The victim accepted the ride and Booth allegedly picked her up to take her to her destination. During that time, he allegedly drove her to a secluded location, parked the car and raped the victim. He then allegedly drove her to her destination.
Booth’s attorney said, “there are more questions than answers,” and questioned the girl’s credibility.
Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria issued a statement Thursday afternoon, calling on the governor and legislature to immediately require “thorough background checks and fingerprinting for all Uber drivers.”
“We cannot afford to wait,” DeMaria said.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh agreed, saying he wants to see more extensive background checks.
“We want to be able to do an extensive background check. That’s what we want to be able to do and make sure that the 2 million rides a month by Uber on our streets, that the proper background checks are there.”
Statement from Uber:
“What’s been described today is deeply upsetting. The individual has been permanently banned from accessing the app and we’ve reached out to local authorities to offer any information that could be helpful in their proceedings.”
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