Boston Uber Driver Charged With Raping Woman Who Sought Ride

By | December 18, 2014

A Boston man who works as an Uber Technologies Inc. driver was charged with taking a woman to a secluded area and raping her, as questions about the company’s driver-screening process prompted it to begin an assessment of its safety programs.

Alejandro Done, 46, pulled up at about 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 6 to a Boston residence, where a young woman was waiting for a pre-arranged ride-sharing driver, according to a statement by Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan and Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert Haas.

Police said they identified the defendant as the driver of the car through company records. It wasn’t known whether the defendant used information he gained through his position as an Uber driver to target the victim, according to the statement Wednesday.

Uber has faced criticism over the safety of its rides. This month, one of its drivers was accused of raping a woman in New Delhi. An Uber driver was also charged in San Francisco this month for killing a six-year-old girl crossing a city street last New Year’s Eve.

The San Francisco-based company said its review, started in November, will determine where greater investment in safety is required, including possible improvements in technology, background checks and incident-response teams to offer support.

Uber is the most highly valued U.S. technology startup. The company raised $1.2 billion earlier this month at a valuation of $40 billion. On Wednesday, Chinese Web company Baidu Inc. said it had invested in the mobile car-booking company, which is led by Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick.

Uber has cooperated and assisted in the Boston investigation, police and prosecutors said in the statement.

Done was arraigned in Cambridge District Court and is scheduled to appear in court again Dec. 24, according to the statement.

With assistance from Jillian Ward in San Francisco.

Related Articles:
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Massachusetts Gov. Patrick Seeks Rules on Rideshare Firms
Uber Facing Roadblocks, Controversies in U.S. and Abroad
Uber Driver Who Struck and Killed Girl in San Francisco Crosswalk Charged
Unlicensed Uber Drivers Ticketed by Plainclothes Officers in Missouri Town

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