Uber driver accused of harassing, groping female passenger

METHUEN, Mass. — An Uber driver was arrested over the weekend after allegedly touching a female passenger inappropriately and causing her to fear for her safety.

The 25-year-old victim told Mass. State Police troopers that she had called an Uber from a friend's house in Methuen around 5 a.m. Saturday. The victim said she wanted to go to another friend's home in Norwood.

The woman said that she had never used an Uber before and asked the driver where to sit; he told her to sit in the front seat. Several minutes into the ride, the driver, 31-year-old Junior Clarke, allegedly began asking the woman personal relationship questions. He then repeatedly asked her to kiss him, said police, and she kept refusing. Clarke also asked her to add him on Snapchat, and handed the woman his phone to do so, said police.

The woman told police that after Clarke's unsuccessful requests for a kiss, he began touching her inappropriately and making obscene and sexually-themed statements. He grabbed her arm and pulled it toward his body, said police.

The victim turned her body away from Clarke, trying to stop the assault, said police. Several minutes before the driver dropped the victim off at the Norwood address, the accosting behavior stopped. The woman immediately called for help and police quickly arrived thereafter.

The victim was able to provide police with information about Clarke from the Uber app, along with his social media accounts from when he handed her his phone.

The victim told troopers she was in fear for her safety throughout the assault.

Troopers identified the driver as Clarke, who lives in Lawrence, and were able to find him Saturday. Based on the information in his interview, Clarke was arrested on charges of indecent assault and battery on a person 14 or over, assault and battery, and accosting/annoying a person of the opposite sex.

Uber told FOX25 that Clarke has been banned on the platform after the victim reported the harassment.

"We’ve been in contact with the rider to offer our support and are working with State Police to aid their investigation," said Uber.

Clarke is expected to be in court Thursday. FOX25 reached out to Clarke, but haven't received a response.