11/28/2014

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Crime

Police: Uber driver cleared in Capitol Hill rape case

SEATTLE -- An Uber driver who a woman claimed had raped her has been cleared, Seattle police said, but the investigation into the sexual assault remains open.

According to the police report for the incident, the victim, who was visiting Seattle from Texas, hired a driver from Uber to take her to her fiance's home in Capitol Hill around 2 a.m. She would later tell officers she doesn't know the city very well but could tell the driver was taking her the wrong way.

The woman claimed the man pulled over near an unknown park and yanked her out of the car, according to the report. The attacker reportedly told the victim he wouldn't hurt her if she did what he said.

The victim said she was then raped and told officers she was afraid her attacker would kill her if she didn't go along with it.

According to the report, the victim got back into the car following the assault and begged the driver to drop her off anywhere. She was dropped off in the 300 block of 15th Avenue East, according to Seattle police.

The victim knocked on the door of a nearby home and asked for help, saying she had been raped. The resident refused to let her in and called police.

Officers arrived to find the victim crying on the home's porch; both her knees were scraped and it appeared her blouse had been ripped, according to the police report. The victim's fiance took her to Harborview Medical Center.

The victim wasn't able to describe the driver but said he was driving a red SUV. Officers used the Uber receipt emailed to the victim to get the driver's name, but after further investigation and interviews with the victim, they have cleared the driver yet say it is still an active sexual assault investigation.

"There is no known connection between the sexual assault, and Uber in this active and ongoing investigation," said SPD spokesperson Drew Fowler.

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