Va. Uber Driver Charged With Sexually Assaulting Passenger

An Uber driver allegedly sexually assaulted a passenger in Virginia early Saturday morning, police said.

Cristian Yovani Zelda Avalo, 37, was charged with object sexual penetration and abduction Tuesday. The victim, a 22-year-old woman, reported the assault Monday, police said. 

The victim said she requested an Uber to pick her up from a location in Manassas to take her to her Woodbridge home. 

Zelda Avalo stopped the car in Dale City during the trip, police said. The suspect then reportedly held the victim down and sexually assaulted her in his vehicle.

After the attack, police said the driver took the victim home. She said she texted a friend to meet her there and was able to get away from the driver, who then left the area.

Police said they located the driver at his home in Manassas City and arrested him following an investigation. He is being held without bond while his court date is pending.

Zelda Avalo was a registered driver for eight months and passed criminal and driving background checks. He has since been removed from the app, a spokesman for Uber said. 

"This report is appalling and our thoughts are with the rider during this difficult time,” Uber said.

Uber said it will cooperate with the investigation. 

Earlier this month, a man posing as a ride-share driver picked up a woman in his car and sexually assaulted her on American University's campus.

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