An Uber driver from Lawrence was arrested after he allegedly sexually assaulted a 25-year-old female passenger early Saturday morning, State Police said.
Junior Clarke, 31, is facing charges of indecent assault and battery on a person 14 or over, and accosting/annoying a person of the opposite sex, according to State Police.
The woman told troopers she called for an Uber ride from a friend’s house in Methuen around 5 a.m., and requested that the driver take her to Norwood.
When Clarke arrived in his brown 2007 Toyota Camry, the woman asked him where she should sit because she had never used the service. He told her to sit in the front seat, State Police said.
Several minutes into the ride along Interstates 93 and 95, Clarke allegedly began asking the woman “personal questions about relationships and repeatedly asking her to kiss him, which she continually refused to do,” troopers said.
At one point, State Police said, Clarke allegedly handed her his phone, asking her to friend request him on the social media site Snapchat.
When the woman would not let Clarke kiss her, he began touching her inappropriately and making “obscene and sexually-themed statements,” State Police said. She tried to turn her body away.
The alleged victim said Clarke stopped assaulting her several minutes before dropping her off in Norwood, according to State Police. State Police said they rushed to the home in Norwood after receiving a 911 call from a family member and arrived just after Clarke fled.
Troopers determined the woman was not injured, and she was able to provide information about Clarke from the Uber confirmation she received when she booked the ride, State Police said. State Police contacted Clarke on Saturday, and he agreed to meet with them at the Andover Barracks later that same day, where he was arrested.
Carlie Waibel, a spokeswoman for Uber, said in a statement Tuesday night that, “No person should have to go through what’s been described. We’ve been in contact with the rider to offer our support and are working with State Police to aid their investigation. The driver has been banned from the platform.”
Clarke is expected to be arraigned in Woburn District Court on Thursday.Lauren Fox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lauren Fox can be reached at email@example.com.