Fake Uber driver charged with sexually assaulting female passengers.

With AAP.

A man who posed as an Uber driver and allegedly sexually assaulted two women while driving them from nights out in Brisbane has appeared in court.

The 41-year-old was arrested during a raid on his Carindale home on Friday after a 25-year-old and a 23-year-old told police he had picked them up in Fortitude Valley and assaulted them on separate evenings in September.

He appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Saturday charged with one count of deprivation of liberty and three counts of assault.

Court documents show he approached one of the women in an SUV on Wickham Street about 3.40am on September 8 and told her he was an Uber driver.

During the trip the woman opened the Uber application on her phone to realise the ride hadn’t registered but believed he was a registered driver and arranged to pay him in cash.

The pulled up not far from her house where he exposed himself and sexually assaulted her.

He picked up the second woman and her friend about 4.50am on September 16, verbally confirming he had been booked by another friend who had already gone home.

After dropping the first woman home, he exposed himself, grabbing hold of the woman’s arm and continuing to drive closer to her home when she tried to flee.

READ MORE: We asked Uber how many rape cases they’ve had in Australia. They couldn’t tell us.

Both women told police they had been locked inside the vehicle and feared for their safety because he was much bigger than them.


CCTV footage has backed up their statements to police.

“The defendant has committed these offences the past two weekends in a row … (we) are concerned that he will continue driving around the Fortitude Valley and City areas in the early hours of the morning on weekends preying on vulnerable women,” the documents say.

He did not apply for bail and is due to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on November 14.

In August, a registered Uber driver was arrested and charged with the sexual assault of a Bondi teenager. When asked by Mamamia at the time to provide data on the number of assault cases involving its drivers in Australia, the company said it did not have such data available.

A company spokesperson said Uber were always looking to improve safety and technology has enabled it to bring safety features such as GPS tracking of trips, information about the driver and rider in the vehicle.

They said Uber is serious about its commitment to helping end gender-based violence in its communities.

“We’ve committed to a global, multi-year, multi-million dollar donation to fund partnerships with leading sexual and domestic violence prevention organisations globally to support initiatives and the communities at work,” the spokesperson said.

Uber said it is also preparing to launch its emergency button feature in Australia. Launched in the US earlier this year, it allows users to directly call emergency services from the Uber app.