An Uber driver sexually abused a 19-year-old passenger during a ride between downtown and her Rogers Park home last autumn, prosecutors said during a bond court hearing Thursday.
The woman, a college sophomore, ordered the Uber after visiting with a friend at a downtown hotel on October 16. Almost as soon as she got into the car’s back seat, her driver began making inappropriate comments about her beauty, Assistant State’s Attorney Kevin Deboni said.
At one point, the driver told her he prefers women of her height and weight because he can “pick her up and destroy her,” according to Deboni.
As the car traveled north on Lake Shore Drive, the man began touching her thigh with his right hand, moved it up to her private region, and tried to unbutton her jeans, Deboni said. The button did not open.
The driver allegedly pulled over at Hollywood and Sheridan and tried to hug, kiss, and get into the back seat with the woman. She began posting the incident on Snapchat, including when the driver asked her to remove her COVID mask so he could see how beautiful she is, Deboni alleged.
He eventually drove her to her home, where he allegedly grabbed her breast over her clothes. A friend of the woman met her outside because she had texted him for help because her Uber driver was trying to have sex with her, according to Deboni.
The woman outcried to the man about what happened and he called police.
Detectives worked the case and presented the woman with a photo line-up. She picked out 37-year-old Faith Nkereuwem as the driver who assaulted her, Deboni said.
Police arrested Nkereuwem on Wednesday, and he admitted to telling the woman she had nice legs and said he made contact with her chest to push her away, Deboni told Judge Charles Beach.
Nkereuwem’s private defense attorney, David Gaeger, said he is married, has three children, three foster children, and owns a restaurant that recently suffered a fire. He drove Uber to make ends meet and has no criminal background, Gaeger said.
Judge Arthur Willis ordered Nkereuwem to have no contact with the woman and set bail at $5,000. Nkereuwem will need to post $500 to get out of jail.