A Pennsylvania Uber driver was convicted Thursday on multiple sexual assault charges after he raped an intoxicated passenger and charged her $150 for vomiting in his vehicle.
A jury determined Ahmed Elgaafary, a 27-year-old Egyptian national,
was also charged with raping an unconscious person, sexual assault and indecent
The incident transpired in February. Elgaafary arrived at Valley Forge Casino Resort near Philadelphia to pick up his victim, and what would have been a 15-minute ride morphed into a 53-minute-long traumatizing ordeal, Assistant District Attorney Vincent Robert Cocco told jurors.
Elfaafary raped the woman in the back seat of his car then demanded she pay $150 for the longer ride and vomiting in the vehicle.
“She should have been safe,” Cocco said. “He knew she was
vulnerable. He knew she was alone. He knew she was too drunk.”
Defense attorney Melissa Berlot McCafferty, representing Elgaafary maintained her client, who is married, was seduced by the passenger and argued the pair had consensual sex.
“He cheated on his wife,” McCafferty said. “He’s not a
rapist. He’s not a criminal.”
Elfaafary conceded on the witness stand that he knew the
passenger was intoxicated.
The passenger said she couldn’t recall any of the details from the night she was raped but had suspicions something nefarious occurred when she left the casino at 2am because she discovered bruises on her leg the following day, prompting the passenger to go to the hospital and get a rape kit.
Elfaafary will likely be deported to his country of origin
after serving a sentence which will be determined at a later date, according to
the Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan.
Anti-Trump Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who was born in Iran and has railed against President Trump over his temporary travel ban, has struggled to curb sexual assault and abuse by drivers since becoming CEO.
Uber portrays itself as a safe mode of transportation for
women, especially if they have been drinking, when in fact, there are a myriad
of instances of the scandal-ridden company putting women in harm’s way.
According to a 2018 report by CNN, at least 103 Uber drivers in the U.S. had been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing their passengers over a period of four years. At least 31 drivers have been convicted for crimes ranging from forcible touching and false imprisonment, to rape with dozens of criminal and civil cases currently pending,
Last year, Uber ended its policy of mandatory arbitration for individual claims of sexual assault and harassment.