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Seattle-area driver charged with sexual assaults for incidents with both Lyft and Uber

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SEATTLE – Seattle police on Tuesday said another ride-share driver in the city has been charged with sexual assault.

Sayfudin Ahmed is accused of trying to rape one passenger and trying to kiss another in a pair of incidents about three weeks apart last April. Police said the alleged victims in both cases were drunk women who were upset about recent breakups.

Ahmed was driving for Lyft during one of the incidents and Uber during the other.

Senior deputy prosecutor Carla Carlstrom said Uber was first warned of unusual behavior by Ahmed in January.

“The defendant is a predator who has used his position as a ride share driver to take advantage of, and sexually assault, vulnerable females who are intoxicated,” Carlstrom said in charging papers. “This is especially concerning when customers are urged to use ride share services in exactly the same situation as these two women found themselves: intoxicated and not safe to drive.”

The first incident happened April 8, 2015. Prosecutors say a 42-year-old woman was drunk, crying and upset because her divorce had been finalized, so she ordered an Uber to pick her up at a Ballard bar.

She said that after telling Ahmed about her problems, he parked the car at her destination and pulled her in for a kiss. She said the door was locked, but she “freaked out” and he unlocked the car and she ran away.

The second incident was April 30, 2015. A woman told police she had been out with a man who ended up breaking up with her, so she headed to a tavern to drink. She eventually ended up drunk at a fast food restaurant, so she ordered a ride from Lyft.

She said most of the conversation with Ahmed consisted of her crying about her breakup, and him telling her how beautiful she was. She said he patted her on the knee, which eventually led to him digitally penetrating her.

She told police she woke up the next day remembering little, but feeling like she had been punched in the groin. She went to the hospital for a sexual assault examination.

Police eventually tracked down Ahmed. They said his story gradually shifted from saying nothing had happened to him admitting –after officers implied DNA evidence might prove something happened – the woman performed oral sex on him.

Prosecutors allege that Ahmed forced her to perform oral sex on him. He’s charged with second-degree assault in that case because he’s believed to have been attempting to rape the woman.

He’s charged with fourth-degree assault in the other case.

Ahmed has been suspended by Uber.

Police said once they got a court order for his records, they found another complaint from a woman who said she’d received a string of “unprofessional” texts from him after a ride one day.