Uber driver charged with sexually assaulting 15-year-old girl in Houston
HOUSTON - An Uber driver in Houston is charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl who had ordered a ride to the store, according to court documents.
Leonel Sentmanat Medina, 49, is charged with sexual assault of a child under 17 years of age.
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According to the probable cause court document, the 15-year-old girl ordered an Uber to drive her from her home to a dollar store.
The girl told authorities that instead of driving to the store, the driver made several turns toward the back of the neighborhood before stopping on a dead-end street, the document states.
He reportedly told the girl to cancel her ride, got in the back seat with her, locked the doors, and then sexually assaulted the girl before driving her back home, according to court documents.
A report was made to the Houston Police Department the same day. Authorities say the girl was able to provide an officer with the driver’s information from her Uber app, including vehicle information and the driver’s username.
According to court documents, police interviewed Medina, who confirmed he was the girl’s Uber driver and admitted to the assault.
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In a statement, an Uber spokesperson said, "The horrific details being reported are something no one should ever have to experience. We immediately banned the driver and stand ready to work with law enforcement on their investigation."
The company says all drivers are required to go through a background check process, and drivers are re-screened annually.
In case of emergency, the user can text to 911 through the app. A message is autogenerated to include car information, location, and direction of travel that is sent to 911 dispatchers. If someone calls through the app, that information populates on the caller's screen to give to 911 dispatchers.
According to Uber's terms, anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult to ride in an Uber.