Police say accused Uber driver rapist may have more victims

QUEENSLAND police fear an Uber driver remanded in custody over the alleged triple rape of a passenger last week could be a serial rapist.

The man, 47, allegedly raped the woman, aged in her early 20s, three times in his car after picking her up in the inner Brisbane nightclub precinct of Fortitude Valley in the early hours of last Thursday.

The man, who cannot be identified, faced Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday, where he was remanded in custody to reappear on July 31.

Addressing the media at the weekend, Acting Inspector David Farley said police believed there were more victims.

"We're investigating a series of what we believe are sexual assaults within the vehicle sharing transport industry," Acting Inspector David Farley said.

"We believe that there may be other victims out there that may be too scared to come forward."

The 47-year-old driver has also been charged with stealing and wilful damage, stemming from the alleged attack on Thursday morning.

A spokesman for Uber told the ABCall drivers undergo a criminal history check before being cleared to work for the company.

He said there was "no place for the type of behaviour described".

"We blocked the driver's access to the app as soon as we became aware of these allegations," he told the broadcaster.

"We've been in contact with the Queensland police and will assist the investigation in any way we can."

Acting Inspector Farley praised Uber for its assistance.

He urged other women who had been sexually assaulted using ride-sharing services to report the crimes to police.

"Please be brave enough to come forward," Acting Inspector Farley said.

The charge comes just a month after another Australian Uber driver was jailed over the rape of a woman, also aged in her early 20s, who he picked up from a Sydney nightclub.

Muhammad Naveed, 41, was sentenced to a minimum of six years and four months in prison on June 13 for raping the 22-year-old in October 2015.

Naveed picked the victim up from Kings Cross and raped her in a side street in Sydney's eastern suburbs.

In a trial by jury, he claimed the pair had consensual sex, despite the woman passing out drunk in his car.

His trial heard the young woman woke to realise Naveed was on top of her.

Prosecutors said that during the incident the woman did not have the strength to push Naveed away and that she had tried to say "get off".

In a separate incident at the weekend in Singapore, the Straits Timesreportsan Uber passenger was killed when the car he was in ran off a road in wet weather and slammed into a tree.

The 31-year-old died at the scene, while the 22-year-old driver was uninjured.

He has been charged with causing death by a negligent act.

It is the third Uber-related fatality in the Southeast Asian island nation since it launched there in 2013.

News Corp Australia


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