The Village of Lyons Police Department headquarters.
Lyft Driver Charged with Battery After Alleged Sexual Assault
A Lyft driver from the Chicago area has been charged with battery after allegedly sexually harassing and assaulting with a 17-year-old passenger.
According to Lyons police, Anthony Vicari was called to pick up a 17-year-old girl in Worth and bring her to her family’s home in Lyons on October 12. The girl told police that during the car ride, Vicari repeatedly made sexual advances and attempted to persuade her to go to a hotel with him. She also told officers that he repeatedly rubbed her thigh and leg while stopped at red lights and would ask her sexual questions.
The girl and her mother contacted Lyons police the next day to report the incident. Police investigated the allegations and identified Vicari as a suspect. Police interviewed Vicari and detectives say he admitted to touching the girl, blaming the incident on his recent divorce.
Vicari has no previous convictions but has been arrested for past sex-related offenses several times. However, these arrests were not prosecuted.
How Common Is Sexual Assault by Lyft and Uber Drivers?
While there is no publicly available data on sexual assaults by drivers for rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft, an April 2018 report by CNN found at least 120 cases of Uber and Lyft drivers sexually assaulting passengers accused in the US.
Several states, including California, Texas, Colorado, and Massachusetts, have investigated Uber and Lyft for allegedly failing to properly screen drivers and hiring drivers with criminal histories.
Uber has been sued at least three times for sexual assault, including a lawsuit filed in California’s US District Court or the Northern District in November 2017. In this lawsuit, nine women allege that their Uber driver sexually assaulted them in separate incidents.