DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The type of scandal forcing system-wide changes at ride share service Uber is playing out in a Dallas courtroom: a former driver is on trial for raping an intoxicated customer in July 2015.
“I was piecing together a night of spotty memories,” says the accuser who testified under the pseudonym “Lindsay Kramer.”
She spent some three hours on the witness stand, hoping to convince jurors that she was raped by her Uber driver Talal Chammout. An attack she freely admits she doesn’t fully remember.
“As disgusting and challenging as it was, I had to call my rapist,” said Kramer… noticeably pausing. “And discuss scheduling or planning another meetup.” She told jurors, “I was desperate to get him to admit what he did.”
Kramer testified that she had already showered by the time she called police, two days later. She also says she was embarrassed so she initially mislead detectives about how much she drank while out celebrating a friend’s birthday.
“We were all pretty much drunk,” says that friend Candace Cabello, when called to the stand. Cabello told jurors that Kramer had been drinking for at least five hours before she used the Uber app on her phone to summon her a safe ride home when she seemed to be struggling. She says the next day, Kramer needed help filling in the blanks.
“I thought she was calling to tell me ‘Happy Birthday’,” testified Cabello. “She was asking me if she fell, because she had scrapes on her knees.”
Defense attorney Katherine Devlin’s questions on cross examination suggested that she’s looking to plant seeds of doubt about the accuser’s level of intoxication.
She also took note of the fact that Kramer had been fighting with her live in boyfriend. Devlin then suggested that the sexual encounter was consensual– and the motive was revenge.
On redirect, prosecutor Trey Stock looked to cut through the innuendo asking Kramer directly, “Did you have sex with a stranger to get back at Jason?” To which Kramer calmly replied, “No… I was looking forward to being proposed to on a beautiful island.”
The now former boyfriend, Jason Ray, testified the couple parted ways a few months after the alleged attack. He says he discovered Kramer the next morning naked, with the doors to their Oak Cliff home unlocked. All behavior that he considered unusual.
Chammout has a prior felony conviction, which should have barred him from becoming an Uber driver, but he was using a fake city permit at the time of the alleged attack. If convicted, he faces a possible sentence of two years to life in prison.
Testimony resumes before Judge Gracie Lewis Wednesday at 9:00 a.m.