Dearborn Heights Uber Driver Charged with Sexually Assaulting a Rider

Dearborn Heights Uber Driver Charged with Sexually Assaulting a Rider

As ride-share programs grow in popularity, crimes against passengers have become more common. On 9/8, the Wayne County prosecutor charged a Dearborn Heights Uber driver, Wessam Ali-Karem Al-Thwej, with sexually assaulting one of his riders. The incident occurred on July 10th, 2022, around 9 a.m., when police responded to a call reporting rape in progress at Lantz Street and Chrysler Service Drive in Detroit.

The victim was found lying on the side of the road when police and paramedics arrived on the scene and was taken to a local hospital to be treated for her injuries. It is alleged that Al-Thwej sexually assaulted the victim in his car, then fled the scene after pushing the victim out onto the street.

A lawsuit against Uber alleges that women in multiple states have been kidnapped, assaulted, raped, and harassed. Uber released a safety report that showed 998 sexual assault incidents in 2020 and 3,824 reports of sexual assault in 2019 and 2020. Al-Thwej is charged with one count of criminal sexual conduct in 1st degree, one count of criminal sexual conduct 3rd degree, and one count of unlawful imprisonment.

Can I File a Lawsuit for Sexual Assault?

In many cases, the victim of a sexual assault can file a lawsuit against the perpetrator of the crime. A lawsuit is the only way a victim can receive monetary compensation for their harm. Criminal cases are filed to punish the perpetrator. In contrast, a civil case focuses on making the victim whole or working toward that, using compensation to seek counseling or any other services the victim may need to work towards recovery.

Compensation for a Sexual Assault Lawsuit

The compensation a victim may receive in a sexual assault lawsuit will vary depending on the facts of the case and the perpetrators’ ability to pay. Although a settlement may be awarded to the victim, it may be challenging to collect the compensation if the liable party does not have significant personal assets. Although many personal injury lawsuit claims are covered by liability insurance policies, such as dog bites, slips or falls, and car accidents, a sexual assault is an intentional act; therefore, it is not covered.

Additional Liability

Depending on the circumstances, there may be more than one liable party. For example, if the incident occurred in schools, nursing homes, churches, or other businesses and entities, the perpetrator and the business entity could be liable.

Colleges and schools have been held liable for sexual abuse claims due to their responsibilities to ensure the safety of their student populations.

Proving a Sexual Assault Case in Civil Court

When filing a lawsuit for a sexual assault, there does not need to be a criminal case or guilty verdict. In many cases, the criminal trial was unsuccessful, so the victim files a civil lawsuit as their following form of recourse against the perpetrator. In a criminal case, a much higher burden of proof must be met to find the party guilty of the crime.

In a criminal case, it must be “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the defendant is guilty to find the defendant guilty. On the other hand, a civil case only requires “more likely than not” that the sexual assault was committed, which is a much easier standard to meet. The variance exists because a guilty verdict in a criminal case will result in the loss of freedom with a jail sentence, while a civil lawsuit that finds the perpetrator liable only affects their finances.

Contact an Attorney if You Were the Victim of a Sexual Assault

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a sexual assault, it is crucial to contact an attorney as soon as you are able. Ohio, like many states, has a statute of limitations: the amount of time you can file a lawsuit after the incident has occurred. Ohio allows adults up to two years after the incident to file a civil case; once that time has passed, bringing a claim against the perpetrator can be challenging. Meanwhile, children and minors are given more time to file a claim.

Your family deserves compassionate and experienced attorneys. At Charles Boyk Law Offices, we understand it takes courage and strength to come forward, and once you do, we will review your case in a free consultation. Contact our law offices today.

Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC