Stock photo

Stock photo

Kent Uber driver charged with rape of 13-year-old girl

Reportedly assaulted her on ride from Federal Way to Burien

A 32-year-old Kent man and Uber driver has been charged with second-degree rape of a child for allegedly having sex with a 13-year-old girl in his vehicle after her father had lined up the ride to take his daughter to her mother’s house.

Mahdi Ibrahimi is scheduled to be arraigned on Nov. 10 at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. As of Friday, Nov. 5 he remained in custody at the King County Correctional Facility in Seattle with bail set at $25,000.

Prosecutors had asked a judge to set bail at $125,000 based on the allegations in the King County Sheriff’s Office report and the danger he poses to the community.

“The victim’s father placed the victim in an Uber car for the victim to be taken to her mother’s home,” wrote Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Maggi Qerimi in charging papers filed Nov. 2. “Instead, the Uber driver, the defendant in this case, within minutes of having the child in the car told the victim to move to the front seat, where he then raped her at night. He assaulted and exploited this child when she was clearly vulnerable, crying and in the defendant’s sole control.”

The parents of the girl are divorced and live at separate residences. At about 10:56 p.m. on Oct. 15, the mother called 911 to report that her daughter had just taken an Uber ride from her father’s house to her house and that during the drive the driver “touched her inappropriately,” according to court documents.

Deputies responded to the mother’s Burien home and interviewed the mother and daughter. They told deputies that at about 9 p.m., the father had used his Uber account to order an Uber ride to take the girl from his Federal Way home to her mother’s home in Burien.

The father took screenshots of the information provided for the Uber driver and sent them to his former wife so she would know what kind of car to look for when her daughter arrived. The screenshots showed the first name of the driver and his type of vehicle, a Toyota Rav4 and the license plate number.

The father walked his daughter to the vehicle, saw her get in the rear driver’s side seat and the vehicle left.

The mother became concerned when the driver took longer than she thought it should. She eventually walked outside her home, looked down the street and saw the Toyota Rav4 parked several houses north of her residence, according to charging papers.

She waved at the driver and motioned him to come to her house. He came to a stop in front of her house and lowered the driver’s window. The mother noticed her daughter in the front passenger seat and that concerned her because she knew it wasn’t normal for an Uber driver to have their passenger ride in the front seat.

The daughter got out of the vehicle and went inside her mother’s home. The Uber driver drove away. The daughter then told her mother that the driver had “touched her.”

The girl was taken to Seattle Children’s Hospital that night and a nurse conducted a sexual assault examination. The girl told the nurse how the driver asked her to move to the front seat and then explained how he touched her.

The girl also explained what happened during the ride to a Sheriff’s Office child forensic interviewer on Oct. 22. The driver reportedly asked the girl during the ride if she wanted to go with him, but the girl said she wasn’t sure what that meant and said no. That was after he allegedly assaulted her.

The girl’s father told detectives that she was supposed to stay with her mother on the weekend and he was too tired to drive her so he ordered an Uber driver.

Detectives used the information about the driver and his vehicle from the screenshot taken by the father to track down Ibrahimi Oct. 28 at his Kent home. They maintained surveillance of the home and saw a man get into a Toyota Rav4 around the corner from his residence. He drove away and a few minutes later a deputy pulled him over for a traffic stop.

The deputy and detective then took Ibrahimi into custody without incident.

During an interview at the Sheriff’s Office Burien precinct, Ibrahimi confirmed with detectives that he works as a driver for Uber and Lyft and had done that job for a couple of months. He said he remembered given a girl a ride on Oct. 15 and that she was crying and asked to sit in the front seat.

Ibrahimi denied touching the girl but later said she had put her hand on his hand and touched his arm. He said he asked her not to touch him and that he was married and had two kids. He later said the girl might have taken his hand and put it on her legs. He then told the detective the girl had forced him to put his hand onto her body and inside her pants.

When the detective asked Ibrahimi about the age of the girl, he said he thought she was 21, 22, 23 or 24 or more than that.

Near the end of the interview, Ibrahimi told the detective to tell the girl to forgive him and that he was sorry.

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