Cabbie accused of rape booked into OPP on $300,000 bond

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wwltv.com

Posted on May 8, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 8 at 7:21 PM

Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Email: pmurphy@wwltv.com | Twitter: @pmurphywwl

NEW ORLEANS -- A New Orleans cab driver accused of raping a passenger is now being held in Orleans Parish Prison.

Wednesday morning Sohail Khan, 40, was booked into the jail on simple rape and second-degree kidnapping charges.

"Second-degree kidnapping would involve a situation where a victim is taken physically from one place to another and there is sexual abuse," said Eyewitness News legal analyst Chick Foret. "One of the factors in a simple rape case deals with whether or not the alleged victim was unconscious, in a stupor, unable to resist."

Wednesday, a judge set Khan's bond at $300,000.

Foret said typically these types of charges draw a high bond.

"The three most relied upon factors are the seriousness of the crime charged, the criminal record of the defendant and the weight of the evidence against the defendant."

Police say Khan picked up a 20-year-old woman on Tchoupitoulas Street in Uptown. The passenger passed out and she woke up as Khan was sexually assaulting her.

The alleged attack happened in the 7600 block of Plum Street just blocks away from her intended destination not far from Tulane University.

"No matter what they did or what they choose to do, nobody has the right to violate them," said Rula Ruello, clinical director for the Metropolitan Center for Women and Children.

"Whether they choose to drink, whether they choose to walk naked in the street, whatever they choose to do, nobody has the right."

Ruella says there is no way to be 100-percent protected from this type of alleged attack.

But, she maintains going out with a group of trusted friends can reduce the risk.

"They can keep an eye on you, so you will not be putting yourself in those vulnerable positions, vulnerable situations where people can take advantage of that."

Ruello says many women may now be afraid to catch a cab.

"There's something we call vicarious traumatization where you'll be traumatized through other people's experiences."

Police say Khan has a prior misdemeanor conviction for getting into a fight with a passenger. They also say he has a 2010 arrest for soliciting a prostitute in New Jersey.

City guidelines prohibit anyone convicted of a violent felony from receiving a cab driver's permit.

Anyone convicted of a lesser felony or certain crimes such as soliciting a prostitute would be barred from receiving a license to drive a taxi for at least five years after that conviction.

We are still trying to determine the final disposition of Khan's charge in New Jersey.

 

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