UPPER MARLBORO, Md. - A former Uber driver faces up to 20 years in prison after he was convicted of raping a passenger in Prince George’s County.
A jury returned the verdict on Friday for Westagne Pierre after seeing video of the driver carrying an unconscious woman over his shoulder into a Budget Inn motel in College Park the evening of Oct. 18, 2016.
Authorities said the woman was out having drinks with friends and became highly intoxicated. One of the woman’s friends called her an Uber and Pierre arrived to pick her up, according to officials.
The friend helped the woman get into the back of the Uber and she instructed Pierre to take the woman to her home in Fairfax. Investigators said Pierre took the woman to Fairfax and ended the fare on the app, but then turned around and took the woman to the motel and raped her.
Surveillance video later captured the confused woman leaving the room and heading to the manager’s office where she called 911. In the 911 call, the woman is heard stating she doesn’t know how she ended up at the motel.
"I think there is pain associated with being sexually assaulted that last a lifetime,” Prince George’s County State Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said. “I understand that the victim is a very courageous woman, a very strong woman, as we have said from the instant this occurred. She was able to advocate for herself and she followed the case through to conviction.”
Pierre was later captured on a surveillance camera at a nearby 7-Eleven where he purchased some snacks using the victim’s credit card. Investigators said they were able to track Pierre’s every movement that night using his cellphone.
"He is a dangerous sexual predator who should be in jail,” Alsobrooks said. “I think his conduct is textbook sexual predator behavior. He could not control his impulses. He took her to that hotel room and you could even see a moment on the surveillance tape where it looked almost like you could see him thinking out loud.”
Alsobrooks said Uber cooperated throughout the investigation process and turned off Pierre’s account as soon as he became a suspect. The state’s attorney’s office also warned that you should never put an intoxicated person alone into an Uber or ride-share service.