FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A Tarrant County jury found an Uber driver Gilbert Osoro, 35, guilty of unlawful restraint for hopping into the back seat of his car and attempting to have sex with a young female customer.
On May 19, 2017, a man called an Uber at 2:30 a.m. to drive his 19-year-old girlfriend home.
According to the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office, Osoro picked up the woman and became flirtatious with her during the drive. During her testimony the victim says she became frightened but didn’t want to be rude, so she used her cellphone to start a Snapchat text with her boyfriend to tell him what was happening.
As the car approached her home in Haltom City, the driver said he wanted to turn the car around first, and pulled into the driveway of a vacant house next door. At that point the driver turned off the car’s lights, stopped the engine, climbed into the back seat and started to touch and kiss her, the DA’s office said in a news release Wednesday.
The girl’s boyfriend, still connected by phone, traced her location through the phone’s GPS and contacted police. At the same time, an alert neighbor noticed the unknown car parked at the vacant house and also called 911. Haltom City Police officers arrived within only a few minutes, catching Osoro in the backseat, rubbing his exposed genitals on the teenager.
Osoro testified during trial it is “not uncommon” for him to get into the backseat of the car with his Uber passengers.
Judge Deborah Nekhom sentenced Osoro to 14 months’ probation for unlawful restraint.
Prosecutor Janet Farmer said this should serve as an important warning for all ride-share users.
“These ride-share services have become so popular, they seem like a safe option. However, stripped down from their popularity, using a ride-share service is essentially still just getting into a car with a complete stranger. Never let down your guard,” Farmer said.