Uber Driver Is Charged With Rape

A 34-year-old Boston man has been charged with raping an Everett 16-year-old he met as a driver for the ride-hailing company Uber.

Darnell Booth, of Dorchester, was arrested Wednesday night and held without bail after his arraignment Thursday in Malden District Court.

On June 30, the victim used Uber and was picked up by Booth, the Middlesex district attorney's office said in a statement.

The statement details:

On July 4, the victim noticed that she had been added to a Snapchat account she believed to be the defendant's account. At approximately 11:00 p.m. the defendant allegedly told the victim through Snapchat that he was outside of her home and asked her to come outside, the victim declined. On Tuesday, July 5, the victim was running late for the bus. After she missed the bus, the defendant allegedly sent the victim a message through Snapchat, not the Uber app, asking her if she needed a ride. The victim accepted and the defendant picked up the victim to take her to her destination, during which time he allegedly drove her to a secluded location, parked the car and raped the victim. He then took her to her destination.

The DA did not reveal where the alleged crime occurred, but the Everett police are also investigating the case and the city's mayor said the victim is an Everett resident.

Booth faces a dangerousness hearing scheduled for Aug. 15.

The charge comes days after a bill regulating ride-hailing firms in Massachusetts was signed into law by Gov. Charlie Baker.

In signing the law, Baker said it requires the strongest state background check of drivers in the nation.

Some advocates wanted the legislation to go further, however, by fingerprinting drivers.

In a statement Thursday, Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria called "on the governor and the legislature to go back into session and amend this legislation to immediately require thorough background checks and fingerprinting for all Uber drivers. We cannot afford to wait."

This article was originally published on August 11, 2016.


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