A Boston Uber driver allegedly raped an intoxicated woman after he picked her up from her birthday party early Tuesday morning.
Michael Squadrito, 40, picked up the unidentified victim outside of a bar in the Faneuil Hall area of Boston and at some point during the ride, he pulled over on a one-way street, climbed into the back of the car and allegedly raped her, the Boston Globe reports. The woman, who said she was “highly intoxicated” at the time, says that after the alleged rape Squadrito woke her up from an “unconscious state” and asked her: “I finished, do you want me to pull your pants up for you?”
The woman declined his offer and got out of the car in order “get away from the suspect as soon as possible,” a police report reads. Shortly after, the victim received treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Squadrito admitted to having intercourse with the woman but claimed the interaction was consensual, according to the Boston Globe. Squadrito was arrested and charged with rape on Tuesday in Dorchester Municipal Court in Boston. During the court hearing, Squadrito said the woman requested intercourse and footage from a camera in his car would prove his claim. Police searched the car and reviewed the contents of the camera, but found nothing to corroborate Squadrito’s claims.
He pleaded not guilty and is currently being held on a $10,000 bail.
Squadrito’s court-appointed lawyer, Nancy Hurley, insinuated that the victim was too inebriated to remember if she had consented.
“The young lady in the police report indicates she was inebriated, so much so she does not remember portions of what is alleged to have happened,” Hurley said, according to the Boston Herald.
The Boston Globe reports that Squadrito had a criminal record including a 2015 arrest for soliciting sex for money and other drug-related charges.
An Uber spokeswoman told HuffPost that the company has rescinded Squadrito’s access to the app and will “continue to cooperate with law enforcement.”
“What’s been reported is deeply disturbing and our thoughts are with the rider during this difficult time,” she said.
Uber has a long history of rampant sexual misconduct, including incidents in the corporate company and in the cars offering ride-share services. CNN found in a May investigation that over 100 Uber drivers have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing customers in the U.S. over the last four years. Last month, a Miami Uber driver was charged with raping a female passenger, later saying it was simply a “perk” of the job.
Squadrito’s next court hearing is set for Nov. 21.