A 32-year-old Uber driver was charged this week with second-degree rape of a child, accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old passenger on the drive from her father’s house to her mother’s residence last month, according to King County prosecutors.
Mahadi Ibrahimi of Kent was arrested by King County sheriff’s detectives after he was pulled over in a traffic stop less than two miles from his house on Oct. 28, 13 days after he drove the girl from Federal Way to Burien, charging papers say. He remains jailed in lieu of $25,000 bail.
Court records do not yet indicate which attorney is representing him. Ibrahimi does not appear to have any prior criminal convictions, according to prosecutors.
Sheriff’s detectives said Ibrahimi reported that he worked as a Lyft driver for two months and also began driving for Uber about a month ago, according to the charges filed Tuesday. Both ride-hailing companies have released reports after coming under increased scrutiny over safety concerns, particularly sexual assaults, The Associated Press reported in October.
Around 9 p.m. on Oct. 15, the girl’s father summoned an Uber and accompanied his daughter to the vehicle, where he watched her get into the back seat, say the charges against Ibrahimi. The father sent a screenshot of the driver’s photo, vehicle information and trip details to the girl’s mother, his ex-wife.
The drive between the parents’ residences takes approximately 30 minutes, so when the ride took longer than expected the girl’s mother became concerned and walked outside, where she saw the Uber driver’s vehicle, which she recognized from the screenshot, parked several houses away, the charges say. She waved to the driver and motioned him to pull up to her house, which he did. Her daughter was in the front passenger seat, say the charges.
The girl’s mother called 911 after her daughter told her the Uber driver had pulled over shortly after leaving her father’s house, told her to get into the front seat and sexually assaulted her, according to the charges. The girl was taken to Seattle Children’s hospital, where she underwent a sexual-assault examination, the charges say.
The girl’s father also reported that the girl’s destination had been changed in the Uber app to an address 200 feet north of his ex-wife’s house but he had not made the change, say the charges.
During an interview, detectives say Ibrahimi’s story changed and they expressed their suspicion about his clear recollection of giving the girl a ride given the number of people he had reportedly driven in the intervening days, according to the charges.
In October, Lyft released a safety report showing an increase in reports of sexual assaults, including more than 1,800 in 2019, the AP reported. More than half of the assaults in 2019 were “non-consensual touching of a sexual body part” and 156 involved nonconsensual sexual penetration, according to the report.
Lyft released the figures nearly two years after larger rival Uber put out a similar report that showed more than 3,000 sexual assaults were reported on rides within the U.S. in 2018.