The news outlet examined cases from 20 major cities, using police reports, federal court records and county court databases, and found that 103 Uber drivers had been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing passengers.
The accused Uber drivers had either been arrested, were wanted by police or were named in civil suits related to the incidents. At least 31 of those drivers have been convicted for crimes ranging from false imprisonment to rape, CNN reported.
In several cases, CNN found that accused Uber drivers appeared to prey on intoxicated women. In one such instance, a woman told CNN that an Uber driver had raped her in San Diego, California. She said she’d been drinking and passed out on the ride home, and woke up to find the driver on top of her in the back seat of the car.
In another case, a woman in Miami said an Uber driver had sexually assaulted her while she was intoxicated. She alleged the driver had carried her up to her apartment and raped her after she passed out on the drive home.
“You are pretty much hitchhiking with strangers,” the woman, who was not identified, told CNN. “How many people is it going to take to get assaulted before something is done?”
Uber does not release data on the number of people sexually assaulted by its drivers, though a representative for Uber did not dispute CNN’s report.
“These stories are horrific and our hearts go out to the victims,” the Uber representative said in a statement to HuffPost. “We worked with CNN to understand their findings and determined that Uber did 2.4 billion trips in the U.S. in that same period. But even one incident on our platform is too many which is why safety is Uber’s top priority for 2018 and beyond.”
“We recently strengthened our safety approach with new features including an emergency button, driver screening improvements, and the addition of the former Secretary of Homeland Security to head up Uber’s Safety Advisory Board,” the statement continued. “This is just a start and we are committed to doing even more.”
The Uber representative was unable to provide the company’s own estimates of the number of sexual misconduct claims against its drivers, but noted that sexual assault is very underreported across industries and that Uber was working with experts to determine the best way to track these reports.
Uber requires all corporate employees to undergo sexual harassment trainings, though this policy does not apply to Uber drivers. A representative for the company declined to comment on whether there were plans to require these trainings for drivers as well.
In November 2017, Uber announced it was pledging $5 million to sexual assault and domestic violence prevention programs inside and outside the company, including employee education and training.
Read CNN’s full report.
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.