According to The New York Post, an Arizona Uber driver was arrested for sexually assaulting an intoxicated passenger on her way home from a party.
Mark Anthony Taylor, 30-years-old, picked the passenger up from a house party in Scottsdale. The victim’s friend reported to authorities that she told the rideshare driver that the woman was extremely intoxicated and needed to get home safely. The friend reportedly continuously checked the Uber ride and felt uneasy when the car began circling nearby neighborhoods, then stopped at the incorrect address and concluded the trip.
The friend showed up at the location, the car stopped and found Taylor and her friend in the vehicle’s back seat. Both Taylor and the victim did not have pants on.
Taylor admitted to having sexual intercourse with the woman knowing she intoxicated and couldn’t hold herself up. With no prior criminal history, Taylor has been arrested and remains in custody.
Attorney contributor Kevin Biniazan, an experienced sexual assault lawyer, has represented numerous victims sexually assaulted in rideshares in civil lawsuits. We asked Kevin to share some thoughts on the legal rights of victims sexually assaulted by drivers for rideshare companies (e.g., Uber and Lyft).
“People trust rideshare company drivers to get them from one location to the next, especially if they are in a compromised state. Rideshare companies have received criticism as recent accusations have surfaced that these companies fail to protect their customers. If a sexual predator is permitted to drive for rideshares, passengers are at risk of being assaulted during their trip.”
“Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have a legal obligation to protect their passengers and customers. To ensure safety for passengers, these companies must provide adequate security. Examples of security include intensive background checks and mandatory cameras inside vehicles recording both the passenger and the driver’s actions. If a rideshare company does not provide adequate security, they may be deemed negligent in a civil lawsuit. In cases of negligence, victims may have grounds for a lawsuit against the rideshare company and receive compensation for damages.”