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Woman recalls terrifying experience during Lyft ride in San Diego

Posted at 8:41 PM, Dec 19, 2019

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A 20-year-old woman claims she was sexually assaulted for about 20 minutes during a Lyft ride in June.

She's identified as Jane Roe in a civil lawsuit filed by Estey & Bomberger, LLP on Thursday. Roe said she has a disability and is unable to drive, she relies on Lyft to get to and from UCSD and around San Diego on a daily basis.

"I would use Lyft every day for about a year and a half," said Roe. "I would use it about 2-3 times a day."

In June, Roe says she was using Lyft to travel from her father's home to her mother's, a 32-minute ride on the Interstate 5 that would forever change her life.

"He just asked me inappropriate questions," Roe said, referring to her driver. "He was commenting about inappropriate behaviors that he likes to do."

Roe said the driver then told her to sit in the front passenger's seat, and out of fear she complied.

"The man.. he started touching me.. he groped my vagina, he groped my inner thighs, my thighs, my hamstrings," Roe said. She said the assault lasted between 15 and 20 minutes.

"I was kind of in a state of shock," Roe said.

The following day, she and her mom reported the alleged assault to San Diego Police and Lyft.

But Roe and her attorney, Mike Bomberger, say Lyft has been unresponsive.

"One of the things we don't know is what happened to the driver," Bomberger said.

Roe and Bomberger allege that Lyft is not doing enough to keep passengers safe.

"Lyft fails to cooperate with police when there's an assault. Lyft tries to silence victims from when they report these assaults and Lyft has the technology to prevent these assaults from happening and they don't use it," Bomberger said.

Roe says she's going through therapy and hoping to recover from the traumatic experience, but says she wants safety improvements in every vehicle, like an emergency button or recording device.

"I don't want anyone to go through this again, I don't want anyone to feel like this, and I don't want him to be able to have a young girl in his car again," Roe said.

The Lyft driver has been named in the complaint, but we are not naming him because he has not been charged with a crime.

In a statement, Lyft said, in part, that they "recognize the risks that women face and are working to build safety into every aspect of their work."

Lyft would not comment as to whether the driver was still driving for the company.

This article was written by Mimi Elkalla for KGTV .