Uber Driver Found Guilty of Raping Unconscious Passenger

Surveillance video shows the Uber driver carrying his passenger's limp body into a motel room, where prosecutors say he raped her

An Uber driver who picked up a drunken woman at a D.C. bar and sexually assaulted her at a motel while she was unconscious has been found guilty of rape.

A jury convicted Westagne Pierre of second-degree rape Wednesday evening.

"This horrified all of us because so many rely on Uber to be transported around," Prince George's County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said at a news conference Friday. 

On Oct. 18, 2016, an Uber user used the ride-hailing app to send a friend home to Fairfax, Virginia, after she blacked out from drinking at a D.C. bar, prosecutors say. 

Pierre picked up the woman and drove her to Fairfax, but he stopped blocks away from her home and ended the fare. He then drove her to College Park, where he got a room at a Budget Inn, police said. 

Surveillance video from the motel showed Pierre carrying the woman's limp body to the room, where prosecutors say he raped her.

"His defense was that he didn't realize that she wasn't enjoying it, I guess, and that he felt that somehow he had gotten a cue that it was consensual, which of course nothing could be further from the truth," Alsobrooks said.

Alsobrooks said no one at the motel saw Pierre carrying the woman's body because of the garden-style layout of the motel rooms. 

He left the room 10 minutes later and drove to nearby 7-Eleven, where he bought $14 in snacks with the victim's credit card, Alsobrooks said.

He returned to the motel for another 10 minutes before leaving the victim there, prosecutors say.

The victim woke up in the empty room hours later and called police when she could not figure out how she got there. She told police she never gave Pierre permission to take her to the motel room or use her credit card.

Pierre faces up to 20 years in prison. He's due for sentencing in October.

Uber says it received a report about the incident from the rider, which led the company to remove the driver from the app.

"This was a deplorable crime that nobody should ever have to go through," Uber said in a statement to News4. "Our thoughts continue to be with the rider."

The rideshare company says it's working to make make their rides safer, including integrating an emergency button in the app so riders can connect to 911.

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