Lyft driver charged in sexual assault of passenger
A Lyft driver has been arrested after a woman reported she was sexually assaulted in Pontiac.
Raheel Bin Hanif, 24, of Waterford Township was arraigned on three counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, a 15-year felony, in 52nd District Court on Saturday. Bond is $750,000 cash, He must wear a GPS tether if he is released from the Oakland County Jail.
The Oakland County Sheriff's Office said in a news release that the woman went to the Orion Township Substation on April 25 and told police that she had been sexually assaulted April 24 in Pontiac.
She said she requested the Lyft driver at 5 p.m. The victim told police Hanif told her he owned a health spa and would giver her $400 if she let him give her a massage and in return, she'd fill out a survey evaluating the service.
The victim told police the suspect encouraged her to drink from an opened container of a Four Loko, an alcoholic beverage. She said she arrived at the spa and was feeling the effects of the drink. After the massage, she told police he offered her $1,000 for sexual intercourse and she refused. She then said she was sexually assaulted and driven back to her residence.
Deputies discovered the suspect had an active traffic warrant and had been listed as a possible suspect in a sexual assault in December.
"While the described incident occurred off the Lyft platform, we immediately deactivated the individual," Lyft officials said in a statement Wednesday. "We are currently investigating the situation and stand ready to assist law enforcement."
“The detectives assigned to this case worked quickly and methodically in order to give this victim the justice she deserves,” said Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard. “We will never tolerate behavior from those who commit sexual violence. I commend this victim for coming forward as she may have brought closure for other victims as well ... Always use vigilance, and if something sounds a bit strange, listen to your intuition.”
Hanif is expected to be back in court on Monday.