Boston, MA – An Uber driver accused of repeatedly raping a passenger early Saturday morning sobbed throughout his arraignment hearing on Monday.
“Could you please knock it off,” Boston Municipal Court Judge Richard Sinnott told Mayanja Daudah at one point during the hearing, according to the Boston Herald.
The 37-year-old father of 12 had been working as an Uber driver for just two weeks when he picked up a female passenger from a bar in Somerville, KSTU reported.
As he was driving her to Boston, he allegedly reached over and placed his hands down her pants, according to WCVB.
The victim said Daudah pulled over on Storrow drive, and sexually assaulted her again.
The woman managed to escape from Daudah when her phone rang, according to WBZ.
“The ringing of the cell phone, for whatever reason, allowed the victim to get out of the car,” Suffolk District Attorney AlexaRae Wright said during the hearing.
A bystander allegedly saw her running by, crying hysterically, with her pants unbuttoned.
While he was in police custody on Sunday, Daudah spoke to WCVB over the phone, and maintained his innocence.
“She said that ‘I’m ready to do anything because today’s my special day,” he told the news outlet. “She was drunk, smoking marijuana, very high.”
“That information that aired outside is wrong and false,” he added. “She jumped from the back seat to the driver’s seat. When I pulled over, she jumped out from the car, [and] I left the scene.”
“I called my bosses because, after, I noticed that she left her bag inside my car,” Daudah continued. “I called the Uber offices to tell them about the situation.”
Massachusetts State Police (MSP) received a report of the alleged sexual assault at approximately 1:15 a.m.
“About 15 to 20 minutes after calling the Uber offices, I received a call from the police,” Daudah told WCVB. “She reported to the police that somebody, the driver, tried to rape her.”
He said he immediately drove to the MSP barracks, where he provided them with a statement.
He was subsequently arrested and charged with two counts of rape, and his bail has been set at $100,000, KTSU reported.
Daudah has no prior criminal record, according to the Boston Herald.
An Uber spokesperson said that they immediately terminated Daudah’s access to the app when they learned about what had allegedly occurred, KTSU reported.
“What’s been reported is horrible and something no one should ever go through,” an Uber spokesperson told the news outlet. “We stand ready to support law enforcement with their investigation.”
Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) originally placed a detainer on the Ugandan-born citizen on Sunday, but later determined that he is “not subject to removal at this time.”
“ICE will continue to monitor his criminal proceedings,” the agency said.
In the meantime, Daudah must surrender his passport, and will be required to wear a GPS monitor if he is released on bail.
According to his defense attorney, Daudah is a widower with 12 children, including three sets of twins.
He is due back in court on May 1.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said that more needs to be done to help keep rideshare users safe.
“I honestly think we have to take a serious look at maybe fingerprinting people,” Walsh said.
The Cambridge Police Department (CPD) has already taken steps to help protect rideshare passengers, and riders are now able to contact 911 using the rideshare app on their phones.
“They’ll be able to see the make, the model, the driver, all that information, without the passenger even saying a word,” a CPD spokesperson told WBZ.