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Lyft driver charged with raping passenger outside her Bridgeport home

Rimon Kazzoo faces a felony count of criminal sexual assault in connection to the December 2018 incident.

A Lyft driver allegedly raped a woman in December 2018, prosecutors say.
A Lyft driver allegedly raped a woman in December 2018, prosecutors say.
AP file photo

A Lyft driver allegedly raped a passenger outside her Bridgeport home after picking her up in Old Town.

Rimon Kazzoo, 37, hung his head low for most of his Thursday bail hearing on a criminal sexual assault charge. Cook County Judge Wesley Willis ordered him held on $1 million bail.

On the evening of Dec. 5, 2018, Kazzoo picked up the 26-year-old woman at a bar in the 1500 block of North Wells Street and drove north instead of the direction to her home, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said.

The woman told him he was headed the wrong way, prompting him to turn the car around, Murphy said. Upon arriving outside her home near 31st Street and Wentworth Avenue, the woman reported fell asleep in the back seat and woke up to Kazzoo sexually assaulting her, Murphy said. She yelled “no,” scratched his neck then broke free, Murphy said.

As she got out the car, she realized her pants were pulled down to her ankles, and went to her home across the street, Murphy said. She told relatives about the attack and then swabbed her fingernails, Murphy said.

The next morning, she went outside and found her underwear in the street, Murphy said. Hours later, she went to Northwest Memorial Hospital and had a sexual assault kit performed. Kazzoo’s DNA was found in her and on her clothes, Murphy said.

Kazzoo was arrested Wednesday and denied ever touching the woman sexually, Murphy said.

An assistant public defender said Kazzoo is a divorced father of two, has been working as a stocker for Walmart and lives with his mother and brother.

Dana Davis, a spokeswoman for Lyft, said Kazzoo has been banned from the platform.

“Safety is fundamental to Lyft, and what the rider described is unacceptable,” Davis said in an email. “We have also been in contact with the rider to offer support.”

Ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft have faced backlash for not doing enough to protect the safety of its riders and drivers. Last year, dozens of women sued Lyft, claiming the company should have done more to prevent driver assaults. A report from Uber revealed that more than 3,000 sexual assaults were reported against its drivers in 2018.

Kazzoo is expected back in court June 10.