The trial of 51-year-old Uber driver Frederick Gaston begins on Oct. 29. Gaston is charged with raping a 26-year-old female passenger. The unidentified woman was intoxicated, vomiting and passing in and out of consciousness.
The incident occurred during Labor Day weekend in 2017. Gaston was giving the woman and her male friend a ride home. He dropped off the male friend first, and then began to penetrate the victim, who was sitting in the front seat, with his fingers as he drove her home.
Upon arriving at her apartment, he raped her in his parked car, according to court records from both a criminal case against Gaston, and a lawsuit against him and Uber, reports the Miami New Times.
The victim told police that she was “too terrified and intoxicated” to fight Gaston off, fearing that he may have a gun and “would harm her if she resisted.” As soon as the woman exited Gaston’s car, she flagged down a neighbor to call the cops.
In his deposition Anthony Murphy, the responding police officer stated he found the victim “sitting on the stairs crying hysterically, asking for help. She just kept repeating, ‘I’ve been raped’ over and over.”
Fredrick GastonMiami-Dade County Department of Corrections
Three months passed before authorities tracked down Gaston.
“We had sex, and it was good sex,” Gaston admitted, according to Special Victims Detective Michelle Farinas’ deposition, obtained by the Miami New Times. “He said that those are the perks of being an Uber driver. You get a lot of pu**y,” Farinas said, adding earlier that Gaston stated “several times” that the woman was really drunk so much so he thought she may have been drugged.
This is not new to either Gaston or Uber. Gaston reportedly has a history of predatory and violent behavior, yet was still hired by Uber who has a history of hiring drivers with questionable backgrounds.
“What’s been reported is deplorable and something no one should ever go through,” a spokeswoman for Uber said. “The individual’s access to the app was removed.”
In a report published in May, CNN found that over 100 Uber drivers have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing customers in the U.S. over the last four years.
Gaston has been jailed for 10 months, and is facing a felony charge of sexual battery on a physically incapacitated victim.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said, in an April blog post , that Uber would run background checks on drivers each year.
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