According to Uber rules, Uber riders are supposed to be at least 18 years old, and drivers are supposed to decline rides to anyone who looks younger.
However, on May 12, 49-year-old Uber driver Leonel Medina picked up a 15-year-old girl who called for a ride from her Houston area home to a Family Dollar nearby, police said.
Instead of taking her home, Medina drove to a nearby dead-end street, got out of the vehicle with his keys and into the back seat, locked the doors, and sexually assaulted the teenager multiple times, according to court documents.
Police said the teenager tried to get out of the car but couldn’t. According to court documents, after the sexual assaults, Medina dropped the teenager off at her home and left.
The teenager’s family filed a police report immediately and took her to Texas Children’s Hospital for treatment.
Police took her statement and found Medina in the parking lot of the apartment complex where he lives. Officers said he confessed to the crime.
“The horrific details being reported are something no one should ever have to experience,” an Uber spokesperson said in a statement to KPRC 2. “We immediately banned the driver and stand ready to work with law enforcement on their investigation.”
Uber says 91 million people in 63 countries use its services every month, and nearly four million people work as Uber drivers around the world.
In the most recent report of its kind, Uber says 3,045 sexual assaults were reported in Uber cars in the United States in 2018 out of 1.3 billion rides.
“All potential drivers…go through background checks…and are rescreened annually,” Uber also said, adding that it is possible to text or call 911 through the Uber app.
Medina did not have a criminal record.
A warrant is now out for his arrest on multiple charges of “sexual assault of a child under 17.”