'He will not be Ubering anybody,' judge says of driver charged with raping woman
After allegedly raping an inebriated customer in his Albany Park apartment, a former Uber driver walked the victim back to his car and told her “I made you happy,” Cook County prosecutors said Tuesday.
Maxime Fohounhedo, who shared an Uber account with his wife, is accused of first attacking the woman inside his black four-door vehicle after picking her up in the early morning hours of Nov. 16, Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Mack said.
The woman had used Uber X to summon Fohounhedo and fell asleep in the back passenger seat as Fohounhedo drove onto the highway, Mack said.
Once he was off the highway, Fohounhedo, 30, asked the woman to sit in the front passenger seat because he was unsure of her address, Mack said.
The woman fell asleep again but awoke after Fohounhedo turned left in an alley and stopped his car behind an apartment building, Mack said.
There, Fohounhedo allegedly took the 22-year-old woman’s hand and put it inside his pants.
The woman pulled her hands away but fell asleep a third time.
When she woke up, she found herself inside an apartment on a dark leather couch with Fohounhedo on top of her and her pants and underpants down to her ankles, Mack said.
After the rape, Fohounhedo took off a condom and went to the washroom, giving the woman some time to see the layout of the apartment, Mack said.
The victim then got dressed, and Fohounhedo helped her leave, taking her out the rear of the apartment and down one flight of stairs, Mack said.
“I made you happy,” Fohounhedo then allegedly assured her before dropping her off at home.
The woman immediately texted a friend to tell her what happened before she fell asleep again, Mack said.
She made a police report as soon as she woke up a few hours later and went to an area hospital where a rape kit was done, Mack said.
The woman was able to tell police about her driver, and they were able to trace the attack back to Fohounhedo’s apartment, in the 4400 block of North Lawndale, using the victim’s GPS information from the date and time of the incident, Mack said.
The woman was able to identify pictures from inside and outside his apartment, Mack said. She also identified Fohounhedo in a line-up.
Fohounhedo was arrested on Sunday by his apartment after police saw him come out of his dark Lexus, according to an arrest report.
Fohounhedo, who was born in the West African country of Benin, had his Uber account in his wife’s name, but his picture and phone number were on the account, Mack said.
Uber spokeswoman Jennifer Mullin said Fohounhedo was removed as an Uber driver as soon as officials at the company were alerted about the alleged attack.
“This is an appalling and unacceptable incident, and first and foremost our thoughts are with the victim and her family,” Mullin said. “We immediately removed the driver from the Uber platform when we learned of the incident and are cooperating with the Chicago Police Department in the ongoing investigation. We stand ready to assist them however we can to hold the perpetrator accountable.”
The company also noted that “account sharing is expressly prohibited on the Uber platform.” Uber said it’s exploring legal options against Fohounhedo and his wife.
Judge Peggy Chiampas ordered Fohounhedo held in lieu of $500,000 bail Tuesday for criminal sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse.
Should he post bond, Fohounhedo must surrender his passport, the judge said.
Chiampas also banned Fohounhedo from driving people for a car service, saying: “He will not be Ubering anybody.”