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Uber driver charged in string of alleged sexual assaults

Last Updated Nov 23, 2018 at 6:52 pm EST

Toronto police have charged an Uber driver in a string of alleged sexual assaults dating back to December 2017.

In a release, police say the first alleged incident took place on Dec. 16 of last year near Blue Jay Way and King Street West.

At around 2 a.m., officers received a call for a sexual assault. Police say a 31-year-old woman was out with friends when she ordered an Uber ride home.

She was picked up by an Uber driver, but police say it wasn’t the driver assigned to her.

Police allege she was driven to an area and sexually assaulted.

On April 18, 2018, police received a call for a sexual assault near Bloor Street West and Madison Avenue.

In that incident, a 19-year-old woman was out with friends and ordered an Uber ride home. Similar to the first alleged incident, the woman was picked up by an Uber driver, but not the one assigned to her through the app.

Police say she was driven to a secluded area and sexually assaulted before she fought off her attacker and fled.

Two further incidents were reported on July 2, near Lakeshore Road East and Hurontario Street in Mississauga, and Oct. 13, near Polson and Cherry streets in Toronto.

In both instances women were standing outside when they were approached by an Uber driver who offered them rides.

Once inside the vehicle, police say the driver drove them past their destinations and sexually assaulted them.

Senol Komec, 38, of Vaughan, has been charged with four counts of sexual assault and four counts of forcible confinement.

He appeared in court on Thursday.

On its website, Uber advises riders to check the licence plate, driver photo, and driver name to make sure they match what’s listed in the app before entering a vehicle.

“Never get in a car with a driver who claims to be with Uber and offers a ride,” the company says.

It also advises passengers to share their trip details with a friend by using the “share status” feature in the app. The feature provides a friend or family member with the driver’s name, photo, licence plate and location. It also allows them to track your trip and see your estimated time of arrival.