Former Uber driver on trial for allegedly raping Dallas customer

The trial for a former Uber driver accused of raping a customer in Dallas began on Tuesday with the alleged victim testifying.

Talal Chammout is accused of raping a 27-year-old woman inside her Dallas home in July 2015. The case highlights issues some have about Uber's screening process, which the company said Tuesday it will be changing.

The jury of seven men and five women listened to opening statements.

“You're going to realize she couldn't consent,” said prosecutor Trey Stock. “She trusted him to get her home safely. He got her home and had sex with her. That’s not right.”

Chammout’s defense attorney said the sexual encounter was totally consensual.

“This was consensual sex with someone he really thought liked him and he really liked her,” said attorney Katherine Devlin.

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 says chammout followed her inside her home.

“I repeatedly asked him to, ‘Please leave. Please leave, I’m okay now, please leave,’” Kramer said.

Kramer testified she passed out and that Chammout was raping her when she came to. Evidence presented to the jury included pictures of a bruise on her leg and part of the 911 call.

Dispatcher: When did this happen?

Kramer: Saturday, late afternoon.

Dispatcher: Did you know this person?

Kramer: No, it was my Uber driver.

Chammout’s case also raised questions about Uber's system for screening drivers.

After his arrest, Uber says it 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 now says it 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.

Kramer filed a civil lawsuit against Uber two weeks after the alleged attack. That case is now closed. Kramer's attorney told the jury she is not allowed to discuss the outcome.

Prosecutors will continue presenting their case on Wednesday.