An Uber driver is facing charges after two women allege he confined and sexually assaulted them in his SUV, Toronto police said Saturday.
The first of two alleged assaults dates back to September last year. A 24-year-old woman says she was waiting for a ride in Regent Park around 1:15 a.m. when he pulled over to pick her up.
Believing that he was the intended driver, she got into the black SUV. He immediately accelerated, "not allowing her an opportunity to leave" the vehicle, police said in a news release.
The child locks were turned on, police added.
The driver headed to a secluded area and allegedly sexually assaulted the woman before allowing her to exit the vehicle, police said.
The second incident allegedly occurred during the afternoon of April 8 in the area of Royal York Road and Evans Avenue in Etobicoke. A 21-year-old woman says the driver sexually assaulted her while parked on a quiet side street.
A 36-year-old Mississauga man was arrested and charged with:
- Two counts of sexual assault.
- Forcible confinement.
'What's been described is horrible'
Police say the man was "employed by Uber" when the alleged crimes took place. Investigators believe there may be other victims.
A spokesperson for Uber says the company revoked the man's access to the app as soon as they learned of the alleged incidents.
"What's been described is horrible and nothing anyone should go through. We are fully cooperating with law enforcement and will continue to provide any information to them that would be helpful for their investigation," the Uber spokesperson said in an email to CBC Toronto.
This investigation comes about a week after Uber launched a new campaign to build public awareness. Riders are expected to receive a new push notification reminding them to complete the following steps before entering a vehicle arranged by the app:
- Check the licence plate number.
- Match the car's make and model.
- Check the driver's photo.