A cab driver has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for trying to sexually assault a female passenger who fell asleep in the back of his cab three years ago near Belmont Harbor. Authorities later matched DNA samples collected after the attack to evidence taken in a similar attack of a taxi passenger in Kendall County, prosecutors said.
Cook County prosecutors said Mustafa Dikbas, now 39, picked up a 26-year-old woman outside a River North bar early on February 11, 2018, and began driving her toward her Lakeview home.
The woman fell asleep along the way and awoke more than three hours later to find the driver sexually abusing her in the back of the cab, which was parked on 3800 block of North Recreation Drive.
According to a police report, she fought the man off, suffering injuries to her knees, and the driver fled the scene with her phone and wallet.
Police reviewed surveillance video to get the cab’s number and contacted the taxi association, but the company told investigators that the vehicle’s GPS had been turned off a few hours earlier. Later that night, the cab company contacted police when the vehicle’s GPS began pinging again. Cops located the cab and arrested Dikbas, who was driving, according to police.
Dikbas has now pleaded guilty to one count of attempted criminal sexual assault. Prosecutors agreed to drop twelve additional felonies in their agreement with Dikbas, including aggravated kidnapping causing bodily harm, attempted criminal sexual assault, attempted criminal sexual abuse, and theft. Judge Steven Watkins sentenced Dikbas to 10-years in prison and ordered him to register as a sex offender for life, according to court records.
Almost 14 months after the Lakeview assault, Illinois State Police linked DNA evidence from the crime to an old case from southwest suburban Oswego.
In July 2007, a woman told Kendall County authorities that a cab driver sexually assaulted her after she fell asleep in his taxi while riding from Chicago to Oswego. Police submitted DNA evidence to a law enforcement database, but it didn’t generate a hit until authorities entered the Lakeview assault DNA results over a decade later.
The suburban case is still pending, according to Kendall County records.