74-year-old Halifax taxi driver charged with sexual assault of female passenger
Halifax Regional Police say yet another taxi driver in the municipality has been charged with sexual assault.
In this case, the incident is alleged to have taken place last fall, but the charge came to light as the accused made a court appearance on Tuesday.
The incident is one of several alleged assaults involving the municipality’s taxi drivers, something that has prompted Halifax to prepare a report on the issue that will be made public next month.
According to police, they responded to a report of a sexual assault at 4:25 a.m. on Sept. 17, 2018. Police were told that a taxi driver drove two female passengers to a residence in Halifax shortly after 2 a.m. and allegedly sexually assaulted one of the passengers while she was in the vehicle.
The passenger was a woman in her 20s.
“To protect the identity of the victim, we are not releasing the address where the sexual assault occurred,” police said in a news release.
Investigators arrested a man on Nov. 27 without incident.
Seyed Abolghasem Sadat Lavasani Bozor, 74, was charged with sexual assault and was scheduled to appear in Halifax Provincial Court on Tuesday.
Halifax Regional Municipality spokesperson Erin DiCarlo says the taxi driver’s licence was suspended after they were notified of the charges.
“This suspension would remain in effect until the trial outcome is determined and then a review would be done. Safety is always our first priority regardless of the outcome criminally,” DiCarlo said in a statement.
Sexual assault charges among taxi drivers have been in the news in recent days.
Police say a 36-year-old driver was charged with sexual assault after a female passenger was allegedly assaulted in a vehicle this past weekend.
As well, the re-trial for Bassam Al-Rawi is currently taking place in Halifax Provincial Court. The former taxi driver is accused of sexually assaulting an intoxicated female passenger in May 2015, after an acquittal was overturned last January by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.
WATCH: Sexual assault re-trial of former Halifax taxi driver begins
A review of the Halifax taxi industry will be made public next month at a meeting of the municipality’s transportation standing committee. The report is expected to examine issues such as service delivery, passenger and driver safety measures and cultural sensitivity training.
The impetus for the report was the number of sexual assault allegations made against taxi drivers in recent months.
Last spring, Halifax taxi driver Seyed Mirsaeid-Ghazi — accused of groping a female passenger — was found not guilty of sexual assault.
In another case, the Crown dropped a sexual assault charge against cabbie Farset Mohammad last May, saying there was no realistic prospect of conviction.
— With a file from Alexander Quon.
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