What to Know
- A 32-year-old Uber driver has been indicted for allegedly kidnapping a 15-year-old girl after a Sweet 16 party on Long Island in July
- The driver was supposed to take the girl to Merrick, but allegedly took her to Brooklyn instead, despite her repeated requests to go home
- Uber said in a statement the allegations were "deeply alarming" and that the driver's access to the app has been removed
A 32-year-old Uber driver has been indicted for allegedly kidnapping a 15-year-old girl after a Sweet 16 party on Long Island earlier this year.
Sean Williams, of Brooklyn, was arraigned last week on charged of kidnapping and sexually motivated kidnapping, both violent felonies, among other charges in the July 12 attack on the teenager, who was just trying to get home after the party.
Late that night, Williams picked her up in Atlantic Beach and was supposed to take her to Merrick, but he allegedly canceled the route and tried to convince the girl to go drinking with him, according to the Nassau County district attorney's office. It's also alleged he wanted the girl to go to his Brooklyn home, where he planned to sexually assault her, prosecutors say.
The girl refused, telling him she was only 15 and asking him multiple times to take her home, but he allegedly kept going in the wrong direction, prosecutors say. Once they got to Brooklyn, the girl was able to convince Williams that she had to use the bathroom, at which point he pulled over and she ran into a nearby McDonald's to call the police, prosecutors said. Williams allegedly followed her inside but ran off before authorities responded. Nassau County cops arrested him outside of his Brooklyn home four days later.
"The family of a 15-year old girl relied on a car service to get their daughter home safely after she attended a Sweet Sixteen party, but the defendant allegedly kidnapped her and wanted to sexually assault her after giving her alcohol," Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement. "The girl was terrorized by the defendant’s alleged behavior and bravely took action to contact police and free herself."
Williams' bail was set at $150,000 bond or $75,000 cash; he's due back in court next month and faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of the top count. His attorney told NBC News that "several factors lend itself to contrast the alleged kidnapping, adding "The alleged victim had her cellphone on her person the entire car ride and at the first opportunity after she made the request to use a bathroom Mr. Williams obliged wherein she entered the McDonald's unaccompanied."
Uber said Williams' access to the app was pulled when the allegations first surfaced in July. Its terms also state that account holders must be 18 years old. Riders can always access the company's safety tips here.
In a statement, an Uber spokesperson said, "What has been reported is deeply alarming and the driver’s access to the app has been removed. We stand ready to cooperate with law enforcement."