An Uber driver who picked up a drunk woman from a bar in D.C. and sexually assaulted her at a motel has been found guilty of rape.
In October 2016, an unidentified woman was picked up in an Uber after a friend called the popular app to send the woman home to Fairfax, VA after blacking out from a drink at a Washington D.C. bar.
According to police, the Uber driver, Westagne Pierre, picked up the woman and drove her to Fairfax, but ended up stopping blocks away from her home and ended the fare. He then drove her to College Park, where he got a room at a Budget Inn. A surveillance video from the hotel showed Pierre carrying the woman’s body to the room where he raped the woman.
Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks stated, that Pierre’s defense was that “he didn’t realize that she wasn’t enjoying it, I guess, and that he felt that somehow he had gotten a cue that it was consensual, which of course nothing could be further from the truth.”
Pierre left the motel room 10-minutes later and went to a nearby 7-Eleven, where he used the victim’s credit card to buy $14 of snacks. He then returned back to the motel for another 10-minutes before leaving the victim.
The victim later woke up in the empty room a few hours later and called the police when she could not figure out how she got to the motel. She told police she never gave Pierre permission to take her to the motel room or use her credit card.
Pierre is facing up to 20 years in prison. The jury found Pierre guilty of second-degree rape. He will be sentenced in October.
In the meantime, Uber is working to make their rides safer, including integrating an emergency button in the app so riders can connect to 911.