Police in Ashland arrested an Uber driver for allegedly offering one of his passengers money for sex and sexually assaulting her after she refused. 37-year-old Jose H. Arevalos-Avalos has been charged with a felony count of indecent assault and battery on a person age 14 and over and another charge of attempted to pay for sexual conduct.
Officers responded to a call reporting a sexual assault at about 3:30 p.m. on Friday, February 8. The alleged victim told police that she had ordered a ride through the Uber app in order to go to work in Ashland. Arevalos-Avalos picked her up in a gray Toyota Corolla and allegedly offered the victim $100 for sex during the ride. She refused, and he then sexually assaulted her by putting his hand between her legs and then later placing her hand between his.
According to the police, the Uber app on the alleged victim's phone showed that she ordered a gray Toyota Corolla with a driver named Jose. The suspect also gave the victim his phone number as she left the car and told her to call him.
Police used this phone number and the license plate number of the Corolla to find Arevalos-Avalos. He was arrested at around 11 p.m. at his apartment in North Mill Street in Holliston. He was jailed at the Ashland Police Department while awaiting arraignment in Framingham District Court on Monday, February 11.
Attorney contributor Kim Dougherty is an advocate for survivors of sexual violence, helping them find justice and the financial compensation they deserve in civil lawsuits. Here are some thoughts from Kim on the legal rights of Uber sexual assault victims:
If you or a loved one has been sexually assaulted by an Uber driver, you're not alone. A 2018 study by CNN found 103 reports of sexual misconduct by Uber drivers of a 4-year period. Both Uber and Lyft have come under fire for failing to keep their passengers safe, with questions being raised about their vetting process for drivers. Several victims have even filed million-dollar lawsuits against the rideshare company.
If you or a loved one has been victimized by a driver for Uber or Lyft, we understand how difficult this time has been for you. Our experienced sexual assault survivors lawyers want to help you seek and find justice. Get in touch with us for a free consultation to learn more about your legal options.