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Lyft driver arrested, accused of inappropriately touching passenger, police say

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Posted - Apr. 29, 2020 at 4:05 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — A Lyft driver has been arrested for allegedly touching a female passenger inappropriately.

Gebrehiwot G. Gebriye, 27, was arrested Tuesday for investigation of forcible sexual abuse.

On Feb, 17, a woman said her Lyft driver, Gebriye, picked her up from a bar in Salt Lake City. While they were driving, Gebriye “put his hand around victim’s neck and stated that he wanted to have sex with her. Victim stated no and told him to drive her home,” according to a police affidavit.

Gebriye then inappropriately touched the woman, the affidavit states.

The woman was able to pick her alleged assailant out of a photo lineup that police arranged, according to the affidavit.

Police had been searching for Gebriye ever since and finally caught up with him on Tuesday. Details of the arrest were not immediately available.

The arrest marks the latest in a series of alleged sexual assaults by Lyft drivers in Utah and around the nation.

In September, a Utah woman joined 13 others from seven states to file a lawsuit against the ride-hailing company claiming they were sexually assaulted by their drivers.

The lawsuit contended that Lyft does not conduct proper background checks on drivers and has failed to take the steps necessary to protect the safety of passengers. The law firm of Estey & Bomberger, which represents the plaintiffs, stated that between 2014 and 2016, Lyft received nearly 100 sexual assault complaints against drivers in California alone.

In November, a Lyft driver was charged in 2nd District Court with forcible sexual abuse for inappropriately touching a woman he picked up from a Salt Lake City bar and drove to Centerville, according to charging documents.

Pat Reavy

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