Police say a teenage girl narrowly escaped being kidnapped and sexually assaulted by her Uber driver, who is now facing a number of criminal charges for his actions.
Long Island authorities said 32-year-old Sean Williams allegedly abducted a 15-year-old girl who was a passenger in his car, WCBS reports.
Investigators said Williams was supposed to take the teen from Long Beach to Merrick on July 12th following a Sweet Sixteen party, but drove her to Brooklyn instead.
Williams was allegedly trying to convince the girl to come back to his house, where he planned to sexually assault her, police said.
“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.
The victim reportedly convinced Williams she had to use the bathroom, and after she was able to get him to pull over, she ran into a McDonald’s and called 911.
Prosecutors said Williams followed her into the fast-food restaurant, but fled the scene before police got there.
“The girl was terrorized by the defendant’s alleged behavior and bravely took action to contact police and free herself,” Singas added.
Williams was charged with multiple crimes, including kidnapping, endangering the welfare of a child, unlawful imprisonment, and kidnapping as a sexually motivated felony.
Williams pleaded not guilty at an arraignment in Nassau County Court Tuesday (Aug. 20), court records show.
He remains free on $150,000 bail while awaiting trial. If convicted, he could face up to 25 years in prison.
Williams’ defense attorney, Steven Gaitment, said his client is “distraught” over the allegations and is “adamantly denying the charges.”
Uber released the following statement on Thursday (Aug. 22): “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.”