On Wednesday, KFOR News reported that Republican Oklahoma State Senator Bryce Marlatt was named a suspect for allegedly sexually assaulting a female Uber driver, according to a recent police report.
The report states that the alleged victim of the attack told local law enforcement that she’d been assaulted on June 26. According to her testimony, the woman “drives for Uber and was transporting a customer” when that customer made unwelcome advances on her. That customer, suspected to be Marlatt, allegedly “was grabbing her forcefully and kissing [the] victim on the neck while she was driving.”
Marlatt’s lawyer told KFOR that the senator is shocked by the allegations and wants very much to work with Uber to get to the bottom of this. This is not the sort of the business that Uber, which has been busy defending itself against its fair share of sexism accusations recently, is dying to attract.
Judging by Uber spokesperson Kayla Whaling’s written statement (sent to KFOR), the company would prefer to cooperate with authorities rather than with Marlatt:
“What’s been reported is not tolerated and has no place on the Uber app. We are committed to the safety and security of all our partner drivers and riders and are working with the Oklahoma City Police Department to provide them any information that would be helpful for their active investigation.”
In 2015, a sheriff’s deputy discovered Marlatt drunk and sleeping in his running pickup truck on a country road; the senator pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor shortly after, according to Buzzfeed News. Marlatt has served in Oklahoma’s State Senate representing District 27 since 2008.
For the time being, Marlatt remains under investigation and has not been arrested.