A University of Michigan student who hailed a cab at about 2 a.m. Sunday morning reported to campus police that she was sexually assaulted by the cab driver. The alleged victim said that the driver pulled off into a parking lot on the way to her off-campus apartment located near Packard, in the 300 block of East Madison.
The woman described the man who assaulted her only as a white man with brown hair. Police issued an email to U of M students to alert them to the situation. A news update stated that Ann Arbor police are continuing to investigate; according to Lt. Renee Bush, the case is being investigated as third-degree criminal sexual conduct. The student has been interviewed by police, who say they will likely follow up with her after the detective bureau has taken over the case.
Lt. Bush said that although the alleged victim did describe the car as a cab, it is uncertain at this point whether the vehicle was one licensed by the city, or a limousine service licensed by the state; it was also unclear which cab company the cab may have belonged to. Bush urged the public to travel in pairs, even when riding in a taxi. There are more than 200 taxi drivers and 100 taxicabs licensed in Ann Arbor, but because of the Limousine Transportation Act, numerous limousine companies are allowed to act as cabs as well. The act makes it possible for vehicles which will seat 15 or less to be licensed through the Michigan Dept. of Transportation and classified as a limousine.
Bush said that at this point police are unclear on the type of vehicle the alleged victim got in to, and that they hope to get more information after interviewing the student again. Bush said that limos are licensed by the state, and may be minivans or cars, while taxicabs are licensed through the clerk’s office. She stated that the student specifically described the vehicle as a car and a cab. Police are asking anyone with information regarding the incident to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-773-2587, or the Ann Arbor police department’s anonymous tip line at 734-794-6939.
Michigan sex crime defense attorneys know that those convicted of third-degree CSC face serious criminal penalties, including up to 15 years in prison. In this case, it is easy to see how an individual could be falsely accused, given the vague descriptions of both the vehicle and the driver.
If you have been accused of any sex-related offense, protect your legal rights by consulting with an experienced and aggressive Michigan sex crime defense lawyer, who will vigorously defend any and all charges against you and work to protect your freedom.