An Uber driver who sexually assaulted me was acquitted today by majority decision. Originally he gave the police a detailed account of the journey which denied everything. After 45 minutes, he changed his story and said that he never touched me — as I’d said — but that I’d started touching myself and acting provocatively to try and get out of paying money to clean my vomit off the car. I don’t know if he explained why he’d got me to move from the back seat to the front.
I can’t know what the jurors’ deliberations consisted of but it makes me feel sick to know that 10 or 11 out of 12 of them must have at least found his story plausible enough to plant reasonable doubt. I didn’t expect to want to speak about this publicly but it feels like a way to push back against the shame and humiliation I’m feeling right now.
When I first reported what happened to Uber their reaction was to refund the cost of the journey and call me up to give a long PR/legal spiel about how their drivers aren’t technically employees, but are independent contractors.
The police are contacting Uber and TfL to find out whether he will get his license back, and they’re going to let me know. I don’t think there’s any reason to think Uber prioritise passenger safety either way.