A 37-year-old Florida man has been arrested after pretending to be an Uber driver and raping an 18-year-old girl who thought he was her ride home.
Shapsly Silencieux has been charged with a single count of sexual battery in connection with the Saturday night attack on the teenager who was in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for Spring Break.
'I'm Taking You Home'
According to Fort Lauderdale police, the victim, whose identity has not been released, was out with her friends when she got separated and decided to call for an Uber to take her back to where she was staying in Bal Harbor. Silencieux reportedly picked up the teenager outside a restaurant on March 13.
When she received a notification on her Uber app that her driver had arrived, she approached the nearby car driven by Silencieux and asked if he was the Uber driver. "Yes," he replied before she entered the vehicle, according to the arrest affidavit.
After getting into the car with Silencieux, her Uber app sent her a cancellation notice, charging her a penalty of $100. Realizing that Silencieux was not her Uber driver, the woman confronted him and he repled, "I'm taking you home." He then took her to his apartment under the pretext of retrieving his wallet to pay for gas and allegedly sexually assaulted her there.
After raping the woman, Silencieux drove her to her lodging. The woman reported the incident to the police immediately after and gave them the license plate number of the car he was driving and police traced the car to Silencieux. The victim later identified him out of a photo line-up. Silencieux is now booked into jail where he remained held on a $50,000 bond.
Uber Issues Statement
Uber released the following statement in the wake of the incident:"Everyone has the right to travel safely and our thoughts are with the victim after this horrific experience. While this trip did not take place on the Uber app, we immediately removed the driver's access to the app as soon as this was reported to us."
In 2019, a man was sentenced to 30 years in prison after pretending to be an Uber driver and assaulting an 18-year-old college freshman who summoned an Uber to take her back to her dorm from a bar during a rainstorm.