Uber driver charged with raping teen

AN Uber driver from Brisbane's northern suburbs who has been accused of raping a teenage girl who rode in his car has been refused bail by a Brisbane magistrate.

Magistrate John Cosgrove told the 37-year-old that it seemed there was "a strong case" against him, that he "raped and sexually abused a 16-year-old female passenger".

Police allege it occurred last Friday about 8.30pm in Brisbane's southern suburbs.

He said that the man was an unacceptable risk of reoffending and of flight.

The man's lawyer, David Svoboda, told the court that his client had lived in Brisbane for a year and was in Australia on a "permanent residency visa".

"My client will strenuously deny the allegations," Mr Svoboda told the court.

The man, who is married with a child, agreed to surrender his UK passport, if granted bail.

Mr Svoboda said Uber had blocked his client from the app.

Magistrate Cosgrove granted police an application to test the man for disease, as is standard procedure in rape cases.

The case returns to court on August 7.

EARLIER: QUEENSLAND police have charged a second Brisbane Uber driver with rape and appealed for women who've been sexually assaulted while using the ride-sharing services to come forward.

An Uber driver will appear in court this morning accused of raping a teenage girl on Brisbane's south earlier this month.

Police will allege the girl was a passenger in the man's car when the incident took place last Friday about 8.30pm.

A man, 37, has been charged with one count of rape and is scheduled to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court this morning.

Detective Inspector Mick O'Dowd said police believed there could be other victims and encouraged them to come forward.

"The request we're making is to any person who may have assaulted inappropriately or of a sexual nature to come forward for any circumstance," he said.

"I'd really like to highlight to people that police are all trained to deal with these matters and we understand how confronting it is to talk about it after the event."

The matter is unrelated to a similar offence which occurred in Brisbane last week.

A 47-year-old driver was charged with raping a young passenger three times.

Det Supt O'Dowd said Uber had been fully co-operative with police and dismissed any suggestion drivers had been forging identity details to successfully register as a driver with the service.

He also said police have no concerns about the safety of Uber or other ride-sharing services.

"I don't think from the actions of two persons you could draw a conclusion it makes Uber any less safe," he said.

"There's thousands of transports every day where people are collected and dropped at their destination without any problem at all."

Mr O'Dowd said improving safety measures or forcing all Uber vehicles to have cameras installed was a matter for the company and not police.

A spokesman for Uber said the company had been assisting police and would "continue to support the investigation and criminal proceedings in any way we can".

"The behaviour described by Queensland Police is absolutely deplorable and our thoughts are with the woman and her family," he said.

"Upon learning of these allegations, we immediately blocked the driver's access to the app."

News Corp Australia


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