Transcript for Teen describes being kidnapped by Uber driver
Back now with the New York teen kidnapped by an Uber driver who police say was planning a sexual assault. Linsey Davis here with that. Good morning to you, guys. According to this young lady what was supposed to a 20-minute Uber ride turned into an hour of horror saying she was kidnapped this past summer and feared for her life, a moment she says has changed who she is and caused her to fear strangers and lose trust in the people around her. This morning, disturbing details in a case of a teenage girl who says a simple Uber ride has left her traumatized. It's hard for me to open up and like trust people now because I put trust in that I would be able to get home safely and I was not able to get home safely that night. Reporter: ABC news is not naming or showing the face of the teen who was 15 at the time she requested a ride in atlantic beach, New York after leaving a sweet 16. She says when she was picked up her driver told her to sit in the front seat. Did he say get in the backseat, get in the front seat. No, he said get in the front seat 13 and you've ridden in Ubers before so that was not something that was customary. No, usually they let you Reporter: Authorities say that's when 32-year-old Sean Williams invited the teen to go drinking with him and drive to his home in Brooklyn where prosecutors claim he planned to sexually assault the girl. This is a young woman who was terrorized during this hour that she was in the car with him trapped there and unable to get out. He kept asking me like if I wanted to go out for drinks with him sometime and I said no, because I'm 15 and I can't go out to drinks and like I just want to get home. Reporter: Eventually the teen managed to convince Williams that she needed to go to the bathroom. When he pulled over at this McDonald's, she entered the restaurant and called 911. Days later police arrested Williams who's been released on $150,000 bail. His attorney released a statement to ABC news saying, my client adamantly denies doing anything of any nature that can be construed as criminal. The facts and circumstances as alleged leave enough to be debated at trial which my client is looking forward to. These kind of allegations have plagued the company with multiple class action lawsuits filed against Uber and its competitors. In a statement a spokesperson wrote what's been reported is deeply alarming and the driver's access to the app was immediately removed when we learned about the incident. We continue to cooperate with law enforcement on this case. It raises question about the company's policies concerning minors. Uber says only adults 18 and over can use the service, but the Uber app doesn't require a birth date to register an This company needs to take responsibility for their product and the service that they're providing to the public. Reporter: The victim's family says ride share companies like Uber need to do a better job of vetting their drivers. What would your advice be now to young people who use these apps like Uber all the time? They shouldn't trust it. There is no 100% guarantee of your safety. Reporter: Williams has been charged with second degree kidnapping as a sexually motivated felony, endangering the welfare of a child and also unlawful imprisonment and entered a plea of not guilty. What other things can riders do to protect themselves. You can be sure you share your stat us from the beginning of the time you get in the car and also consider the pooling option where you're going to ride with other people. Albeit they are strangers still and also be aware of unusual requests like from the beginning when he said get in the front seat, you know, some bells should go off at that point and still get in the back. In many places you can actually text 911 these days and Uber does have an enhanced safety feature that you can push a button and an alert will go off silently. That's good. Great advice. Thanks so much, linsey.
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