by: Amy Clancy Updated:
A Lyft driver was arrested and charged this week with sexually assaulting a developmentally-delayed female passenger.
The alleged sexual assault happened in the Lyft driver's car at the skate park in Woodinville.
The suspect, 40-year old Ashraf Samy-William Ibrahim, is charged with overpowering the 22-year-old alleged victim and sexually assaulting her.
The passenger is developmentally delayed and, according to court documents, has the mental age of a 13-year-old.
“She doesn’t really have the ability to consent” to sexual contact, Sgt. Cindi West, of the King County Sheriff’s Office, told KIRO 7 on Thursday. “Nor did she consent,” West added.
According to documents filed in King County Superior Court, Ibrahim had been driving the woman to and from work and errands since December.
On March 20, Ibrahim, whom the alleged victim called "Lewis," "put his hands on her neck and started to choke her," according to charging documents.
Ibrahim was arrested by King County Sheriff’s Office deputies and booked into the jail in downtown Seattle. He was charged on Wednesday with a single felony count of indecent liberties.
He has since bailed out of jail after posting a $15,000 bond.
No one answered the door at Ibrahim's Everett home when KIRO 7 sought his comments.
Meanwhile, Lyft spokesperson Alexandra LaManna issued an email statement saying that the company is "devastated" and has been "in touch with the passenger's mother."
According to LaManna, Ibrahim "has been banned from using Lyft."
Sgt. West doesn’t blame Lyft for what happened.
“The suspect is the one who committed this crime” she said.
Ibrahim, however, is not the first driver for a ride-sharing service who has been arrested for allegedly targeting a female passenger.
Sayfudin Ahmed was charged with sexually assaulting a woman while driving for Uber and for sexually assaulting another woman while driving for Lyft.
He pleaded guilty to one count of assault with sexual motivation and will be sentenced in April.
The trial of Dereje Kebede is still pending.
He's accused of raping a young woman at a SeaTac motel in 2015 while he drove for Uber.
That woman told KIRO 7 in 2016, “You don’t get to do this and get away with it. It’s not OK.”
Lyft provided KIRO 7 News the following statement:
"We are devastated by this news. We have been in touch with the passenger’s mother and have been supporting the authorities in their investigation. The driver has been banned from using Lyft," Lyft spokesperson Alexandra LaManna said.
© 2017 Cox Media Group.
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