Former Uber Driver Charged with Sex Assault

Harbir Parmar

Harbir Parmar

After the assault, she tried unsuccessfully to get her phone back from Parmar, but he denied having it, the complaint said.

Harbir Parmar, 24, of Howard Beach, is charged with one count of kidnapping, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, and one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The customer was charged more than $1,000 following the ordeal, but Uber said she was refunded in full "within days". During this time, Parmar allegedly changed the woman's destination to Boston, Massachusetts and drove in that direction before pulling over on the side of the road, prosecutors said.

The woman told police that when she woke up, Parmar was groping her chest.

The unnamed woman ordered up a ride home from the Big Apple to White Plains around 11:30 p.m. on February 21 and was picked up by Harbir Parmar, 24, of Howard Beach, Queens, according to federal court papers filed in White Plains. It was about 2 a.m. when she entered a nearby convenience store, in Branford, Connecticut, and called a cab to take her to White Plains, the government said.

Federal authorities and NY police condemned Parmar's behaviour as reprehensible.

"No one - man or woman - should fear such an attack when they simply hire a auto service", Manhattan US attorney Geoffrey Berman said.

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Uber said it blocked Parmar from using the app after the alleged kidnapping occurred.

"What's been reported is awful and something no person should go through", expressed Uber in regard to the allegations. As soon as we became aware, we immediately removed this individual's access to the platform. "We have fully co-operated with law enforcement and will continue to support their investigation", the company said in a statement.

The state of Colorado fined Uber $8.9 million previous year for allowing people with criminal records to work as drivers. New York City requires ride-hailing service drivers to go through a licensing process similar to the one it has for traditional limo and vehicle service drivers. Fromberg said Parmar had held a TLC license since December 2015.

According to the complaint, Parmar picked up the woman, who was not named, in a 2016 Toyota Highlander at about 11:30 p.m. February 21.

Parmar returned to the front seat and resumed driving, according to the complaint. He also faces a federal charge of wire fraud stemming from incidents in which he allegedly sent false information about the destination of Uber customers on almost a dozen occasions over the course of more than a year, according to the Journal News.

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