DALLAS - A judge sentenced a former Uber driver to 25 years in prison for raping a woman after giving her a ride.
Talal Chammout, 59, was found guilty last week of sexually assaulting a 27-year-old woman inside her Dallas home in July 2015.
The woman, who was identified in court by the pseudonym "Lyndsay Kramer," testified she was intoxicated when a friend ordered her an Uber. Chammout picked her up at the bar where she was celebrating a friend's birthday.
Kramer said Chammout followed her inside her home. She said that she asked him to leave and eventually passed out from the alcohol. She testified Chammout was raping her when she came to.
Chammout’s defense attorney said the sexual encounter was consensual. But prosecutors argued she couldn’t consent.
“She trusted him to get her home safely. He got her home and had sex with her. That’s not right,” Prosecutor Trey Stock said.
Chammout was convicted on one count of sexual assault but jurors found him not guilty on a second charge of forcing himself on the woman during their initial encounter.
Uber determined Chammout used a fake license to bypass background checks. He has prior convictions for weapons and assault.
Because of this case and other incidents, Uber said it is making changes that include constant background checks, technology that allows riders to share live trip information with up to five contacts and a feature that can automatically send a car's location to a 911 call center.
Uber also said it will allow riders and drivers to file allegations of rape, sexual assault and harassment in courts and mediation, rather than being locked into an arbitration hearing.