Lyft driver who sexually assaulted female passenger gets 66-month sentence

Rimon Kazzoo | IDOC

A Chicago man has been sentenced to 66 months for sexually assaulting a woman who fell asleep in the back seat of his car while he worked as a Lyft driver in December 2018, according to court records.

Rimon Kazzoo, 38, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated criminal sexual assault by force in exchange for the sentence. Judge Thomas Hennelly handed down the sentence and gave him 387 days credit for time spent in jail before trial.

The alleged attack occurred after the 26-year-old victim and a friend left a bar on the 1500 block of North Wells in Old Town on December 5, 2018. The friend summoned separate Lyft rides for herself and her friend, who was picked up by Kazzoo, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said during a bond court hearing last year.

The victim told police that she fell asleep in the back seat as the car neared 31st Street and Wentworth. Her next memory is waking up while Kazzoo sexually assaulted her in the back seat of his car around 11:05 p.m., according to Murphy and CPD records.

She escaped from the car after striking Kazzoo and scratching his neck, Murphy said. Outside the vehicle, the woman realized that she was across the street from her home, and her pants had been pulled down around her ankles.

Murphy said the woman took swabs of her own fingernails because she knew she scratched the offender. Kazzoo reportedly dropped off the woman’s phone, which she left in his car, at a Lyft operations office.

His DNA was found in the victim’s private areas and on the clothing she wore on the night of the alleged attack, according to Murphy. When police arrested Kazzoo on Wednesday, he denied ever touching the victim sexually, Murphy said.

“Safety is fundamental to Lyft, and what the rider described is unacceptable,” a spokesperson for the company said Thursday. “We responded immediately, banning this driver from the Lyft community and working with law enforcement. We have also been in contact with the rider to offer support.”

Kazzoo is scheduled to be paroled on January 17, 2025.

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