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A Miami Uber Driver Raped a Passenger, Called It a Job 'Perk'

Illustration for article titled A Miami Uber Driver Raped a Passenger, Called It a Job Perkem/em
Image: Getty

A 26-year-old Miami woman was allegedly raped over Labor Day weekend in 2017 by her Uber driver.

The Miami New Times reports, her assaulter, 51-year-old Fredrick Gaston, has a history of preying on drunk women in the Wynwood neighborhood and somehow “slipped through the cracks” of the app’s background checking service. He told the Miami police department that his job gets him “a lot of pussy” and said sex with passengers was one of “the perks of being an Uber driver.”

The victim entered Gaston’s car with a friend; after he dropped off the woman’s friend, Gaston allegedly penetrated the victim with his fingers. He later stopped the car and raped her. The New Times reports: “The woman would later tell detectives she was too terrified and intoxicated to stop him. She feared he had a gun and would harm her if she resisted.”

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When he dropped her off at her apartment, she saw a neighbor entering the building, told him about the assault and asked him to call the police. When the police arrived, she was crying and repeating, “I’ve been raped.” When police questioned Gaston a month later, he told them, “We had sex, and it was good sex.”

Uber has a long history of unregulated sexual violence—in 2016, the company dismissed thousands of rape customer support tickets by dubbing them typos. For years, women across the country have accused their Uber drivers of sexual abuse and rape, in some cases, kidnapping, to little avail.

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Gaston is currently in jail on a felony charge of sexual battery on a physically incapacitated victim and will stand trial October 29.

Senior Writer, Jezebel. My debut book, LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands, is out now.

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DISCUSSION

c83nonstop
C83nonstop

So I use Lyft all the time because of Uber’s reports of sexual harassment from their employees. I boycotted using them a year or so ago. Also Lyft is cheaper, so double benefit for me. I haven’t heard any of these stories about Lyft drivers. Are they out there? Does Lyft have the same sexual assault issues as Uber? Or does Uber just have the crappiest background check of all time