Lyft driver charged with sexually assaulting passenger
PONTIAC, Mich. (WJBK) - A Lyft driver has been charged after allegedly offering a passenger $400 to give her a massage at his spa in Pontiac, then sexually assaulting her once they arrived.
Waterford Township resident Raheel Bin Hanif, 24, has been charged with three counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, a 15-year felony.
Police say on April 24, a woman reported she contacted a Lyft driver she had previously used for a ride. He told her he was the owner of a health spa, and offered $400 to let him give her a massage then fill out a survey to evaluate the massage.
She also said Hanif allegedly encouraged her to drink from an already opened can of the alcoholic beverage Four Loko as they traveled, so she arrived at the alleged spa feeling "buzzed."
After the massage, the suspect is accused of offering her $1,000 for sex -- and when she refused, that's when he sexually assaulted her. He then drove the woman back to her residence.
Upon investigation, detectives discovered Hanif was listed as a possible suspect in a separate sexual assault incident from December 2017. Police say there was not enough information at that time to obtain a warrant.
Hanif was arraigned on April 28 and given at $750,000 cash surety bond. He is scheduled to appear in court again May 7.
Because there may have been other incidents involving the suspect, police are asking anyone with information to call the Oakland County Sheriff's Office at (248) 858-4911.
"The Detectives assigned to this case worked quickly and methodically in order to give this victim the justice she deserves," Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard said in a release. "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. This is a reminder to review some of the newest safety features included in apps such as Uber and Lyft, which allow you to send your location to friends and family and call for emergency help quickly. Always use vigilance and if something sounds a bit strange, listen to your intuition."