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Tallmadge man sentenced for sexually assaulting woman while driving for Uber

May 23, 2018

Tallmadge man sentenced for sexually assaulting woman while driving for Uber

AKRON, Ohio — A judge in Summit County sentenced a Tallmadge Uber driver to four and a half years in prison for sexually assaulting a woman passenger.

Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Jason Wells sentenced Brandon Franklin, 34, Tuesday, according to a news release from the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office.

Franklin also must register as a Tier III sex offender every 90 days for the rest of his life.

A jury found Franklin guilty in April of sexual battery.

“I am awed and inspired by the incredible strength the survivor of this assault showed by speaking out at today’s hearing. My hope is that each day is better than yesterday for her,” Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said in a statement. “The defendant lied and took advantage of the victim.”

The woman was out drinking with family and friends in March 2017 when she requested an Uber to take her home.

Franklin picked her up, drove her to her home and sexually assaulted her in her bedroom, police said.

The woman woke up in bed as Franklin was sexually assaulting her, police said. She pushed him out of the bedroom and he ran from the home.

The sentencing comes a week after Uber and it’s main competitor Lyft eliminated policies that required riders to settle their sexual harassment or assault claims through confidential arbitration. The move was the result of a public pressure campaign, and as Uber faces a class-action lawsuit that accuses the company of doing a poor job of vetting drivers who harassed or sexually assaulted riders. 

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