BOSTON (WHDH) - An Uber driver who has been ordered held on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer appeared in court Monday after he allegedly raped a woman twice in Boston over the weekend.
Ugandan citizen Mayanja Daudah, 37, was arraigned at Boston’s Edward W. Brooke Courthouse on charges including two counts of rape.
Daudah, who is a part-time student and father of 12, was ordered held on $100,000 cash bail following the arraignment.
Troopers responding to a report of a woman who had been sexually assaulted by an Uber driver on Storrow Drive near the Hatch Memorial Shell around 1:15 a.m. on Saturday arrested Daudah, according to state police.
The victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment as troopers collected evidence for analysis.
Prosecutors say Daudah attacked the victim twice, once while he was driving her back from a bar in Somerville and a second time while the car was pulled over. He allegedly unbuttoned the victim’s pants and assaulted her with his hand.
The victim was able to escape from Daudah’s vehicle when her phone started ringing, according to Assistant Suffolk County District Attorney Alexarae Wright.
“She ran from the vehicle. She was observed running by a bystander,” Wright said. “She was seen hysterically crying with her pants unbuttoned. She then contacted a friend who came to pick her up and they proceeded to the police station where a report was made.”
Daudah’s attorney claims that the victim climbed from the back of the Uber into the front seat seeking to smoke marijuana but that she was promptly kicked out of the vehicle.
College students who use ridesharing applications say the alleged attack is alarming.
“It’s frightening because we take Ubers, you know, once or twice a week, so to think that could happen to anybody is very nerve-wracking,” Maria Evans said.
Uber told 7News in a statement, “What’s been reported is horrible and something no one should ever go through. We stand ready to support law enforcement with their investigation.”
Advocates for stricter regulations of ridesharing companies say more needs to be done to protect riders.
“We think they need to do more from a compliance perspective to help guarantee that women will be safe and that they have the proper care protocols in that company,” said Scott Solombrino, a spokesperson for Ride Safe Massachusetts.
In the meantime, those who use the applications plan on being extra aware when snagging a ride.
“I feel like I will be even more careful than I already am, just always telling people where I am going, and texting people when I get into my Ubers now,” Evans said.
Daudah is due back in court at a later date.
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