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Uber driver accused of rape faces ICE detainer, quadrupled bail

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A Ugandan citizen accused of raping a woman in Boston while he was working as an Uber driver early Saturday morning faces quadrupled bail and the possibility of deportation.

Bail was raised Sunday from $25,000 to $100,000 for Daudah Mayanja, 37, after federal immigration officials placed a detainer on Mayanja, according to Dave Procopio, a Massachusetts State Police spokesman.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement did not respond to an inquiry Sunday. The agency places detainers on immigrants facing criminal charges when it “possesses probable cause to believe that they are removable from the United States,” according to its website.


Mayanja, who lives in Waltham, was arrested Saturday on two counts of rape after State Police received a report about 1:15 a.m. that he had allegedly attacked a woman in his vehicle on Storrow Drive near the Hatch Memorial Shell, State Police said.

He is being held by State Police awaiting arraignment Monday in Boston Municipal Court, Procopio said.

Uber did not respond to an inquiry Sunday. The ride-sharing company said in a statement Saturday that Mayanja’s access to its app had been revoked immediately after the allegations became public.

“What’s been reported is horrible and something no one should ever go through,” a spokesperson said. “We stand ready to support law enforcement with their investigation.”

Saturday’s alleged rape is the latest in a growing list of sex crimes allegedly committed by drivers for ride-share services. The incident came just two weeks after Uber driver Ranjan Thapa, 26, allegedly sexually assaulted an intoxicated woman leaving a South Boston bar.

Along the Esplanade Sunday, several women who jogged, walked, or rested near the Hatch Shell said they are aware of potential dangers from ride-share drivers, and they take precautions.


Michelle, an Emerson College freshman who asked that her full name not be used, said her sister asked that she share her location on her cellphone anytime she takes an Uber.


“I typically forget, as horrible as that sounds, but she lives in another, smaller city, and she always does it, no matter what,” Michelle said. The teen said she rarely uses a ride-share after dark, and never rides alone with a driver at night. She and her friends avoid taking food or drinks into ride-share vehicles, she said, ever since they saw a viral warning that drivers might drug passengers.

Gabrielle Coutinho and Lorena Pinheiro, friends from Brazil who came to Massachusetts this year to work as au pairs, said they have had no issues with US ride-share drivers.

“Not here, but in Brazil, yes, lots of times,” said Coutinho, 21, who is living in Marshfield, recalling a driver in Rio de Janeiro who asked if she had a boyfriend and if she was traveling to meet with him.

Pinheiro, 24, who lives in Swampscott, said that although she has had no problems with a ride-share service, reports of attacks on passengers make her “very, very anxious.” She shares her location with her mother or friends when she uses one.

Astrid Araya, 32, of Malden, said she hears often about other women’s concerns because she’s a part-time Uber driver.

“Whenever I have female clients come in the car, they always say how they’re so comfortable with me being a female driver, that they just feel safer in general,” Araya said. “They just get creeped out sometimes [with male drivers].”


As an Uber passenger, Araya said, she has had a driver ask for her number, but he left her alone when she said she had a boyfriend. As a driver, she has heard many passengers suggest that she carry mace, she said, but only one male passenger has crossed a line and made her uncomfortable. “I just feel like it goes both ways,” she said.

Drivers undergo background checks, but Uber can’t predict the future, Araya said.

“A background check is not going to tell you when someone is going to lose their mind,” she said.

Globe correspondent Abigail Feldman contributed to this report. Contact Jeremy C. Fox at