OC Uber driver arrested for alleged sex assault of passenger he was driving home from police station

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- Santa Ana police have arrested a Tustin Uber driver who is accused of sexually assaulting a female passenger - who was being driven home from the police station after an alleged DUI.

The 25-year-old victim had just been released by the Tustin Police Department in July 2018 where she was being held for suspicion of DUI overnight after crashing her car. When she was released, she requested they help her order an Uber from her phone.

The driver picked her up and was supposed to drive her back to her home in Santa Ana. But at one point during the ride, he stopped and sexually assaulted the woman, Santa Ana police say.

She immediately reported the crime to Santa Ana police and they collected DNA evidence that was put into their system.

"We've been working this case, waiting for the DNA to return, to confirm that in fact the crime occurred, and if there was a possible lead for the suspect," said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna with Santa Ana police. "We finally got a hit, and that hit confirmed the fact that this was the suspect in this particular case."

This week, police arrested 45-year-old Amir Attia at his home in Tustin.

"He was brought here, he was interviewed. During that interview, he confessed to committing the crime," Bertagna said.

Police also say he has a previous conviction from 1993 for sexual battery. Uber says it goes by California law, which would restrict a driver convicted of a felony in the past seven years or misdemeanor within the last three years.

Once the company learned of the incident, they say they removed his access to the app.

"Whether you're in an Uber or in a taxi or in a bus, sexual predators are sexual predators and they will take advantage of the situation when it occurs," Bertagna said.

The suspect was booked at the Orange County jail with bail set at $150,000. Meanwhile police are asking anyone with information on this case, or any other potential victims to come forward.
Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.