An Uber Technologies Inc. driver from Boston has been charged because he took a woman that called for a ride to a secluded area and raped her, a hit for the company that has been assaulted with questions about its driver-screening procedure.
The controversies that arose around the way the company checks the backgrounds of its drivers sparked a safety program assessment – with Uber saying it started an investigation last month, which seeks to determine whether renewed investment in safety is needed. That would include technology upgrades, further background checks and incident-response teams to offer support. Valued at around $40 billion, Uber announced this week that Chinese Web company Baidu Inc. opted to purchase a stake in the company.
A statement coming from the Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan and Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert Haas states that Alejandro Done, 46 took a young woman from her Boston residence as she was waiting for a pre-arranged ride-sharing driver. Police said they used company records to identify the driver of the car as the defendant. This rape charge follows another similar case that happened in New Delhi, India, this month and an Uber driver was also indicted in the company’s hometown of San Francisco for killing a six-year-old girl crossing a city street last New Year’s Eve.