WASHINGTON — A Virginia man is facing felony sex abuse charges after police he say he sexually assaulted a 21-year-old woman after she got into his car early Sunday morning believing he was her Uber driver.
El houcine Jourhdaly, 36, of Springfield Virginia, was arrested Monday and charged with first-degree sex abuse. D.C. police said the woman believed Jourhdaly was her Uber driver when she got into his car 3:20 a.m. Sunday. After arriving outside of Asbury Hal on the campus of American University, the driver ordered her out of the car and then sexually assaulted her, she reported.
D.C. police said Jourhdaly is not actually an Uber driver. At first, the ride-sharing company told WTOP Jourhdaly’s name did not match a list of active drivers in their records. Later, the company told WTOP he was permanently removed from the app and hasn’t taken a trip since 2015.
American University campus police issued a crime alert along with some ride-sharing safety tips. Police said if you are using Uber or Lyft, you should always use the company app, and you should never get into a car that has not been ordered though the app.
Authorities also said to verify the identity of the driver and the car before getting in, to sit in the back seat of the car and to remain aware of your surroundings.
Police also urge riders to share your trip details with friends and family, through either the ride-sharing app or by texting them. And when you can, you should travel in groups.
Finally, police say, if you are taking a taxi, you should always use licensed taxi companies.
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