UberX Driver Sentenced to 7-1/2 to 10 Years for Sexually Assaulting Passenger
A Philadelphia UberX driver has been sentenced to seven-and-a-half to 10 years in state prison for the June 2015 sexual assault of a female passenger, who was 24 years old at the time of the attack.
47-year-old Northeast Philadelphia man Abdellah Elkaddi learned his fate on Tuesday afternoon at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania.
A jury found Elkaddi guilty of aggravated indecent assault and sexual assault — both felonies — in April. The jury said Elkaddi was not guilty of first-degree rape, the most serious charge against him.
The attack occurred on Wednesday, June 10, 2015. Police say Elkaddi picked the young woman up in his UberX vehicle outside Independence Beer Garden just after 11 p.m., and she directed him to a train station in Norristown, where she had left her car. But when they got to the train station, her car was nowhere to be found.
Elkaddi and the young woman went to the local police precinct to see if her car had been towed, but after leaving without any solid answers, she asked Elkaddi to drive her home.
She told police that she must have fallen asleep in the car and that when she woke up, she found Elkaddi groping her genitals and breasts. Then, according to officials, he removed his pants and forcibly penetrated her.
The woman said she screamed, “Get off me! What are you doing? Get off of me!” Police say he eventually stopped and told her that he would take her home.
As he began driving, the woman realized where she was and told him to go to a location that turned out to be a local police station. She told detectives that Elkaddi asked her if he could drive her home instead but that she demanded to get out of his UberX car. She ran into the police station at 1 a.m. and immediately gave a statement to detectives.
For his defense, Elkaddi said that the sex was consensual, and his lawyer claimed that the woman made up the story because she was trying to deflect attention from her ejection from Independence Beer Garden. The victim explained on the stand that she was asked to leave the bar after accidentally using the men’s bathroom.
In addition to being an UberX driver, Elkaddi was also registered as a Philadelphia taxicab driver at the time of the sexual assault.
While the proceedings took place in Montgomery County, the case was prosecuted by Bucks County Assistant District Attorney Michelle Ann Henry. The Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office decided to transfer the case because it had a conflict-of-interest due to the identity of the victim.
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