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Former Uber X Driver Charged With Raping Passenger

Updated 12/30/14 - 9:38 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – A former Uber X driver has been charged with raping a woman in his car last month, and the account he was using has been terminated

Maxime Fohounhedo, 30, has been charged with one count of criminal sexual assault and one count of criminal sexual abuse, police said.

Uber says Maxime did not have an account and he reportedly shared an Uber X license with his wife. Uber prohibits account sharing and his wife's account has been terminated by Uber.

Prosecutors said Fohounhedo picked up a 22-year-old woman around 3 a.m. on Nov. 16, when she arranged for a ride with Uber after a night of partying in the city.

Fohounhedo allegedly asked the young woman to ride in the front of his car, claiming he was unfamiliar with the area. She did, and when they got near the area of Western and Lawrence avenues, Fohounhedo allegedly began sexually assaulting the woman, and she blacked out.

When she woke up, she found him on top of her at a home in the 2600 block of West Lawrence Avenue. Fohounhedo then drove her home, and she texted a friend, saying she was raped. The victim was treated at Swedish Covenant Hospital, police said.

The suspect's attorney, Sandra Bennewitz says there are many unanswered questions about the case and her client is ready to prove he did not attack anyone.

"He has evidence that will support his claim that he did not do this and that whatever happened was consensual," Bennewitz said.

Fohounhedo's wife, Sheena, was in court and says police never contacted him until his arrest Monday.

"Everybody is in shock about the allegations," she said. "I support him...I don't believe my husband did anything wrong."

Fohounhedo does not have a criminal background.

Uber released a statement saying, "Account sharing is expressly prohibited on the Uber platform. Mr. and Mrs. Fohounhedo committed fraud in this deplorable act and we are exploring all legal options. All details regarding this fraud and Mr. Fohounhedo's illegal activities have been shared with the Chicago Police Department and Uber will continue cooperating with the authorities.

"In addition to a zero tolerance policy for account sharing, Uber conducts real-time audits of drivers on the platform, regularly re-checks driver photos and monitors rider feedback on an ongoing basis. We have also initiated research and development on biometrics and voice verification as part of our global safety review and investments."

Fohounhedo, of the 4400 block of North Lawndale Avenue, was in court Tuesday afternoon for a bond hearing, when a judge set bail for Fohounhedo at $500,000. The judge also banned him from driving for Uber while his case is pending.

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