An Uber driver was arrested on suspicion of raping a female passenger who reportedly passed out in his car in Fontana on Jan. 12. According to a KTLA news report, the passenger requested an Uber ride after going drinking with friends in Ontario. The woman was picked up by 32-year-old Alonso Calle. Fontana police said the victim either fell asleep or passed out in the car and awoke to Calle having sex with her.
Calle then called Fontana police and said that a rider may say he raped her during consensual sex in his car. He said the woman got mad, said something about being raped and wanted to get out of his car, according to police. The assault took place early morning on Jan. 12 at McDermott Park. In a later interview, the driver told officers he knew the victim was very intoxicated at the time but still offered him sex.
Fontana police called the incident “very disturbing.” A police officer said people count on rideshare vehicles to take them home safely especially if they have been drinking. California law prohibits individuals from having sex with someone who is inebriated or has no ability to resist as a result of being under the influence of alcohol or some other intoxicant. It is considered a crime if the person is so intoxicated that they cannot give legal consent. For example, if a person is passed out, they cannot give legal consent to have sexual intercourse, under the law.
Rideshare Sexual Assaults
This arrest comes days after another Uber driver was charged with sexually assaulting an intoxicated female passenger in Tustin. That man was removed from the ridesharing app after the victim reported the alleged assault in 2018. Uber recently released statistics showing there were 3,045 sexual assaults during its rides in the United States in 2018 with nine people murdered and 58 killed in car accidents. This was Uber’s first study detailing unsafe incidents on the ride-hailing platform.
So far, a number of women have filed personal injury and class action lawsuits against rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft alleging negligence when it comes to hiring drivers for their ride-hailing app. Safety advocates have strongly criticized rideshare companies for not putting passenger safety first. Victims of such attacks can seek compensation for the injuries, damages and losses they have sustained. An experienced California personal injury lawyer can help them better understand their legal rights and options.