Archive for sexual assault

Over 500 Women Sue Uber Over Sexual Assault Allegations

Hundreds of women have sued Uber over alleged sexual assault from the drivers. About 550 women claim to have been battered, sexually assaulted, stalked, attacked, harassed, or falsely imprisoned when using the ride-sharing app.

According to Adam Slater, the founding partner of Slater Slater Schulman LLP, Uber promises its customers a safe ride home. No one should need to fear for their safety. Since 2015, however, many clients claim to have been abused.

Uber has been accused of responding slowly and inadequately despite being aware of the allegations since 2014. The consequences of their nonchalant attitude have been horrific.

Complainants feel that Uber has been prioritizing growth and profits over safety. It has been overlooking basic background checks to get new drivers fast. Previously, the company had disclosed that it got 3,824 complaints from 2019 to 2020 alone. The allegations ranged from non-consensual kissing to violent rape.

Uber doesn’t seem to have instituted any long-term solutions to the problem. Many complainants believe that it should have installed cameras in vehicles or created warning systems to alert passengers should the driver head off their designated route. Conducting robust background checks would help Uber get better drivers.

The three-strike policy is pretty problematic as well. It keeps predators in the business even after serious complaints.

Uber Doesn’t Agree

Despite the numerous complaints, Uber contests the claims. In their statement to Washington Examiner, Uber said, ‘Sexual assault is a significant crime, and the company takes every report seriously. According to them, nothing is more important than safety. Uber is creating survivor-centric policies. It is being transparent about significant incidents. Even though Uber is unwilling to comment on pending litigation, it promises to prioritize safety.

It added that the company claiming to represent over 550 women has only filed 12 cases at the moment. They haven’t provided essential incident details that would help identify any connection to Uber.

The platform has also availed a list of the safety features it has added on its platform. The ‘RideCheck’ feature is incredible. It uses GPS data and sensors to determine if the trip is going off course.

Even though the lawsuit targets Uber, other ride-sharing apps could learn from it. Lyft, for example, reported receiving 4,000 sexual assault reports from 2017 to 2018. The suit could also highlight the best ways to keep their clients safe.

Actress’ Lawsuit Against Bill Cosby Will Continue Despite Her Death

Louisa Moritz was one of the first of many women to come forward and accuse actor Bill Cosby of sexual assault back in 2014. She died on January 4 in Los Angeles, but her lawsuit against the actor is set to continue despite her death, according to a statement by her lawyer, Joseph Cammarata.

Moritz may have been one of the first women to speak out about Cosby, but she was one of many women who accused the actor of sexual assault. She also later sued him for defamation when he publicly called her a liar. Moritz shared in a video with other women that Cosby had forced her to have oral sex with him when in her dressing room as they were both set to appear on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” in 1970. She said she was in the green room when Cosby didn’t knock and opened the door. He then walked into her room and closed the door behind him and undid his pants. She said the whole ordeal only went on for about five minutes, but it was the longest five minutes she experienced. During the segment, Cosby didn’t make eye contact with her and she said she later felt disgusted.

Since 2015, more than 60 women have accused Cosby of sexual assault and he has denied all the allegations. He has called the women liars and said the acts that happened between them were consensual. Moritz and seven other women also sued him for defamation and he countersued those women. Even when she was sick, she still went to Washington to meet with her lawyer managing the defamation suit. In the statement, it says the claim against the actor will continue and the team handling it looks forward to a solution and to show that she was telling the truth so her legacy is not tarnished. Cosby is presently serving time in Pennsylvania after he was convicted of sexually assaulting and drugging Andrea Constand at his home 14 years ago. He was sentenced to three years in prison for this incident.

Moritz had been sick for about a year when she died at the age of 72. She had been in hospice care after getting an injury in Washington after a fall. She later was moved back to her home when she died.

Judge Kimball Dismisses Claims Based on The Statute of Limitations

In a lawsuit where a Colorado woman had claimed that she was raped while working as a missionary 34 years ago, a federal judge threw out all but one claim. The woman had sued LDS Church and a former president of the Missionary Training Center at the church, whom she accused of raping her.

According to US District Judge Dale Kimball, the fraud, sexual assault, and emotional distress charges that McKenna Denson brought against Joseph Bishop had expired under the statute of limitations in Utah. Kimball, on the same grounds, dismissed claims of sexual assault and emotional distress against the charge. He also refused to issue an injunction that would force the church to review its policies on sexual assault and abuse.

The judge further found that the statute of limitations on Denson’s claims that the church had hidden Bishop’s behavior only began in December 2017, when she confronted him. Denson had reported the case to Elder Carlos E. Asay, who had been an authority at the church from 1976 until he died in 1999.

Although Asay had assured Denson that he would investigate the matter and get back to her, he never did. This means that, despite her efforts, she never proved that the church knew that Bishop was a sexual predator.

Craig Vernon, Denson’s attorney, expressed his disappointment at the case being dismissed on the grounds of the statute of limitations. However, he said he respects the decision and looked forward to the next phase where fraud claims against the church will continue.

On his part, LDS Church spokesman Eric Hawkins pointed out that judge Kimball had terminated three of the four claims made against the church. He said that the claim had remained to give room for further investigations, saying that they had faith in the legal system and were out to find the truth since the church does not tolerate abuse.

Although Bishop has denied the accusations, Denson, 55, alleges that Bishop, of Arizona, raped her in 1984 while she was a missionary. She sued both Bishop and the Church for sexual assault, battery, fraud, infliction of emotional stress and fraudulent concealment.

According to the lawsuit, Denson had reported the incident to various LDS leaders at least 10 times. When she did not learn of any effort to conduct investigations, she posed as a reporter, getting Bishop to reveal his sexual history and addiction. This taped conversation was later made public through a website.

Both the accused parties asked Denson to drop the charges since the statute of limitation on some of them had expired in 1985 and 1988, after the alleged rape.

David Jordan, the church attorney, and Andrew Deiss, Bishop’s attorney both argued that after the alleged rape, Denson had known that Bishop was not “honorable, safe, trustworthy or a godly man”. Deiss said that the rights of the accused have to be protected despite the statute of limitations appearing to be harsh. He said Bishop, 85, was now old and the main witness in the case was dead. He went on to say that documents were not available and memories change or fade over time.

Vernon, however, argued that both Bishop and Denson were alive, and so was Elder Robert E. Wells, an authority of the church to whom he claimed Bishop had confessed his sexual behavior in 1977.