Uber Boston driver accused of passenger kidnap and rape after company promises increased security


Only days after an Uber driver was accused of raping a female passenger in New Delhi, India, a similar case of sexual assault has come to light in Boston, where a driver has been arrested for the alleged kidnapping and rape of a customer today, reports The Boston Globe.

46-year-old Alejandro Done has been held without bail over charges of rape, assault to rape, kidnapping and two counts of assault and battery of a passenger in his cab on Dec 6. Done, who had passed the company’s background check, has pleaded not guilty and will be held until his hearing scheduled for Dec 24.

This may not be an open-and-shut case, though: BostInno reports that the Middlesex District Attorney’s press release only states that that the victim requested a ride from a ride-sharing service. While Done is an Uber driver, other services like Lyft and Sidecar also operate in the area, and drivers can work with multiple services.

Uber has said that it will help local police with the investigation. Additionally, in a company blog post published prior to Done’s arrest, Head of Global Safety Phillip Cardenas promised that Uber has begun a global review of its security measures, and will add new safety programs in 2015.

Cardenas’ post also described the company’s roadmap towards ensuring safety, which includes research and development on biometrics and voice verification for enhaced driver screening, and “ways to provide riders the instant ability to communicate with us and their loved ones in the event of an emergency.”

Uber is also working on adding its own screening processes to supplement those maintained by local authorities in poorly served markets like India.

The company is also building Safety Incident Response teams across the globe to provide immediate support in case of untoward incidents. Lastly, it is partnering with organizations that have expertise in issues like women’s safety to learn from and incorporate their ideas into its own support programs and team training.

Uber is also in trouble in Boston owing to three previous reports of sexual assault reported by female passengers last Sunday. We’ve reached out to the company for comment and will update this post when we hear back.

➤ Uber driver is accused in rape, kidnapping of customer [The Boston Globe]

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