MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Twin Cities Lyft driver is accused of touching a passenger as she was falling asleep in the car.
Ahmed Tawane Abdi, 39, of Burnsville, was charged via summons Thursday with fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, a felony, in connection to a Lyft ride he gave a year ago August.
In a statement Friday, the rideshare company described the incident as “horrific,” adding that Abdi was banned from the platform as soon as the company learned of the accusation.
According to a criminal complaint, Abdi picked up a man and a woman from a Minneapolis bar in the early morning hours of Aug. 5, 2017. The woman told police that on the way to their destination in New Brighton, Abdi touched her under her underwear as she began to fall asleep in the front passenger seat.
She texted her companion, telling him to call 911. When he didn’t immediately do it, she did it herself. After she was dropped off, she spoke with officers and went to the hospital for a forensic nurse examination.
On Aug. 7, 2017, police spoke with Abdi and collected DNA samples, the complaint states. He told officers he made unintentional contact with the woman, noting it was strange that she sat in the front seat. When asked if his hand accidentally went up the woman’s leg, Abdi said no.
An examination of the woman’s underwear found DNA matching Abdi’s, the complaint states. It’s unclear why officials waited a year to charge him with a crime.
If convicted of the criminal sexual conduct charge, Abdi faces 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.