According to KLTA, an Uber driver was arrested for the sexual assault of a passenger in Santa Ana, California. The Uber driver, 30-year-old Jason Rodas, allegedly choked and sexually assaulted the woman as she tried to get out of the vehicle.
The alleged assault occurred around 4 am when the victim was trying to get to work. The driver canceled the ride and told the victim it would be free. Rodas, during the ride, supposedly asked the victim about her sex life. The victim was noticeably uncomfortable and instructed Rodas to drive her to work. He then threatened to throw her out of the victim if she notified the police. In an attempt to escape, the victim jumped out of the vehicle at the 300 block of South Minnie Street. Rodas allegedly grabbed the woman and placed her in a chokehold, strangling her while sexually assaulting her.
The authorities are unsure how the victim got away, but Rodas was arrested hours later. He was arrested on suspicion of several sexual assault charges, including kidnapping to commit rape. Rodas is being held on $1 million bail.
Legal Herald attorney contributor Bobby Thompson, an experienced sexual assault lawyer, represents sexual assault victims in civil lawsuits. We asked Bobby to share some thoughts on the legal rights of victims sexually assaulted by drivers for ride share companies, for example, Uber and Lyft. Below is his commentary.
“Ride share companies have recently been under fire after recent accusations of these companies failing to provide adequate protection for their customers. Both Uber and Lyft have faced lawsuits. If a sexual predator is permitted to drive for them, riders could be in danger of being assaulted during their rides.”
“Companies like Uber and Lyft have a legal obligation to protect their passengers. To ensure safety, they must provide adequate security. For example, these ride share companies could initiate intensive background checks or mandatory cameras inside each vehicle. If these ride share companies do not provide adequate security, they could be considered negligent. Ultimately, in cases of negligence, victims may have grounds for a lawsuit against the company.”