HOUSTON - A Houston Uber Driver is now charged with Sexual Assault of a Child and a warrant has been issued for his arrest after a 15-year-old girl says the man behind the wheel went from driver to violent attacker.
"It’s disturbing the fact that this happened to a minor and we believe he knew she was a minor," explains Harris County Prosecuting Attorney Janna Oswald.
It was supposed to be a quick Uber ride to a neighborhood market for the 15-year-old girl last Wednesday, May 12, when she ordered an Uber to take her to the Family Dollar and get groceries for her family.
However, Instead of taking her to the store, the teenager says the Uber driver drove to a dead-end at the back of her neighborhood, ordered her to cancel the ride in her app, and says he sexually assaulted her.
"There’s a vulnerability and a trust that you put into the Uber drivers and for them to take advantage of that and take advantage of a young child that’s trying to use their services to be able to help her family out, help the household out I think that's incredibly concerning," adds Oswald.
According to court documents Uber driver, Leonel Sentmanat Medina, 49, says he had consensual sex with the 15-year-old.
"We don’t believe that to be true in any sense. We believe this to be a forced sexual assault," Oswald says.
Uber released a statement saying:
"The horrific details being reported are something no one should ever have to experience. We immediately banned the driver and stand ready to work with law enforcement on their investigation"
The rideshare service is also reminding riders they can text 911 through the Uber app and car information, location, and direction of travel will automatically be sent to 911 with your message.
"The fact that she was able to come home and tell her mom this happened to her, had the bravery to come forward and talk to police and participate in the investigation, she has prevented other victims in the future," says Oswald.
Medina faces 2 to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Uber is also taking this time to remind parents anyone under 18 years old has to be accompanied by an adult to use the rideshare service.