|Cab driver Tarek Masri (inset) was charged this week with sexually assaulting a female passenger in his taxi three years ago. Chicago Police Department; Wikipedia|
A Chicago taxi driver kidnapped a woman who hailed his cab after celebrating a night out, then sexually assaulted her during a three-hour ordeal through Ravenswood, Lincoln Park, and Lakeview in June 2015, prosecutors said this week.
Tarek Masri, 55, was arrested at his Joliet home after DNA material that he voluntarily provided in an unrelated matter generated a hit in the aging sexual assault case, police said.
Early on June 13, 2015, the then 23-year-old victim went out with friends to celebrate her successful passing of a professional exam, prosecutors said.
At the end of the night, the victim and other women took Masri’s cab to one of the women’s residences in Ravenswood. But the victim told friends that she preferred to sleep in her own bed and she asked Masri to take her to her home.
The victim fell asleep in the back seat of the cab and one of the victim’s friends wrote down Masri’s taxi number as the cab drove away, prosecutors said.
Over the next three hours, Masri drove the woman to various locations. He then parked and raped the unconscious woman in the back seat of his car in the 2600 block of North Paulina in Lincoln Park, according to court records.
Prosecutors said the victim was intoxicated, unconscious, and unable to provide consent for the sexual acts Masri performed. Masri later dropped the victim off near her Lakeview apartment building.
The stories told by the victim and her friends were confirmed via GPS records. Nonetheless, the case remained open for years. On March 16 of last year, Masri was arrested near O’Hare airport for traffic violations and driving on a suspended license. Police asked him to voluntarily provide a DNA sample and Masri agreed.
Testing on the DNA material and evidence collected after the alleged assault was completed earlier this year.
Masri is charged with Class X felony aggravated criminal sexual assault and felony aggravated kidnapping. Judge David Navarro ordered him held without bail.
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