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Uber driver charged with sexually assaulting passenger

Posted at 3:16 PM, Jan 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-10 22:21:22-05

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — An Uber driver with a conviction for sexual battery has been charged with sexually assaulting a drunk woman he picked up outside a California police station, authorities said.

Amir Attia, 43, of Tustin was arrested Wednesday in connection with the July 2018 assault in Orange County.

The 25-year-old woman, who had been arrested after a traffic accident for driving under the influence, told investigators that Attia picked her up outside the station then repeatedly stopped the car and sexually assaulted her, prosecutors said.

“Ridesharing services provide a valuable service in preventing intoxicated people from getting behind the wheel,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement. “It is tragic that this predator used his client’s state of intoxication to victimize her.”

Attia is charged with two felony counts of sexual penetration and two misdemeanor counts of sexual battery. He could face up to six years in prison if convicted. He remained jailed Friday, and it was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney.

Attia has a 1993 conviction for sexual battery, authorities said.

“What the rider reported to police is deeply troubling. We removed the driver’s access to the app in 2018 after we learned of this disturbing incident," Uber said in a statement.

Meanwhile, a ride-share driver was arrested Thursday in connection with the attempted rape of a woman in San Francisco.

Richard Silverio, 43, of San Francisco was working for the undisclosed ride-share company and off-duty when he offered to pick up a woman and drive her from San Francisco to San Carlos on New Year's Day in 2018, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.

He then tried to rape her at knife-point but she twice fought him off and finally escaped, authorities said.

DNA was used to connect Silverio to the crime, investigators said. It's unclear whether he has an attorney.