Lyft driver kidnapped female passenger, sexually assaulted her twice: cops
A Lyft driver in Illinois kidnapped a female passenger and sexually assaulted her twice during the hellish ordeal, police said.
Alexander Sowa, 34, is facing charges of kidnapping and sexual assault after picking up a woman in Elk Grove Village who asked to be taken to an address in Des Plaines late Thursday. But instead of taking her there, Sowa took the woman, who had been drinking, to another location in Elk Grove Village where he sexually assaulted her, police said.
Sowa then drove the woman to a parking lot in Mount Prospect, where he sexually assaulted her a second time. The victim managed to escape Sowa’s vehicle and found someone who called cops for her, Mount Prospect police said in a statement.
“She was going and trying to take a safe ride somewhere and unfortunately this person victimized her,” Mount Prospect Police Officer Greg Sill told WLS-TV.
Sowa appeared in court Tuesday in Rolling Meadows, where his bond was set at $10,000 under the condition that he be placed on electronic home monitoring if released from custody. But the Lyft driver, who has since been fired, is homeless and has no permanent address, according to the station.
A spokesman for the Cook County Sheriff’s Department said just two facilities in the county accept homeless inmates who have been ordered to undergo pre-trial electronic monitoring, but neither of those locations takes suspects charged with sexual assault. Sowa is therefore likely to remain jailed until his trial, WLS-TV reports.
Sowa, of Wheeling, is scheduled to return to court on May 30, jail records show. It’s unclear if he’s hired an attorney. He has been permanently banned by the ride-sharing service following his arrest, Lyft reps said in a statement.
“Safety is our top priority,” the statement reads. “The behavior described is deeply disturbing and absolutely unacceptable. We have been in touch with law enforcement to offer our assistance with their investigation.”
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