An Uber driver who raped a female passenger that he picked up from a Lakeview bar in June apologized after the assault, claiming that she had experienced his “bad side,” prosecutors said.
The victim, 25, went out for a night of fun in early June, stopping at Kirkwood Bar & Grill, then making her way to Jake’s Pub, 2932 North Clark, with co-workers, Assistant State’s Attorney Jacqueline Simon said. Video showed her leaving Jake’s around 1:15 a.m.
Simon said the woman couldn’t remember what happened until she woke up in the back seat of a car with a “Velcro-like tie” restraining her hands. The victim noticed that she was in a well-lit residential parking garage with many other vehicles and personal property.
Simon said a man who entered the back seat removed the woman’s clothing and raped her for about 15 minutes. The woman feared for her life during the assault and repeatedly told the man that she did not want to have sex with him and did not want it to happen, she said.
Following the assault, the man drove the victim to her parents’ West Loop home. Simon alleged that he “repeatedly told the victim that he was sorry and this was his bad side and that his girlfriend is mean to him.”
Chicago police traced the Uber ride transaction, which showed her driver was named Christopher, and then spoke with the registered owner of the car that the woman rode in. The owner, who rents vehicles out, told police that Christopher Molina, 31, was the person who rented the car on the night of the attack, Simon said.
The victim identified Molina in a photo line-up on June 22. He appeared in bond court Sunday on charges of aggravated criminal sexual assault, kidnapping, and unlawful restraint.
Molina has a bachelor’s degree and works as a full-time Uber driver, according to Assistant Public Defender Lauren Cannizzaro. He had never before been arrested.
After hearing from both attorneys, Judge Kelly McCarthy noted that Molina is accused of having materials available to restrain the victim, which led her to believe the attack was planned. She set bail at $250,000 cash with electronic monitoring, which means Molina must post the entire $250,000 to be released on electronic monitoring.
He is scheduled to appear in court again on August 29.
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