BOSTON (CBS) — A man accused of raping a woman he was driving for Uber pleaded not guilty in Roxbury District Court Monday.
A Northeastern University police officer stopped 26-year-old Ranjan Thapa in the area of Hemenway Street in Boston’s South End around 1 a.m. Sunday. Thapa told them the woman was drunk and he was driving her home, but officers noticed she seemed distressed, Boston Police said.
They then came to the conclusion that the woman was a victim of sexual assault and she was transported to a hospital for treatment.
“I know I’m in trouble, I had sex with her,” Thapa told an officer, according to the police report. He was later arrested and charged with rape.
In court, Thapa’s defense attorney argued the act was consensual.
According to the police report, when detectives initially went to interview the victim early Sunday morning, they were unable to because “she was not able to talk or understand what was being said to her.” Investigators later returned, and the woman told them she had been drinking all day, did not remember what happened to her, and was not the person who ordered the Uber.
Thapa’s bail was set at $10,000.
Rabindra Lamichhane, Thapa’s brother-in-law, told WBZ-TV’s Anna Meiler that he was shocked by the allegations.
“We couldn’t sleep the whole night, it’s terrible,” he said.
He described Thapa as “a regular guy, he’s a hardworking guy” who is a student at UMass Boston and working two jobs to make ends meet.
Uber released a statement, saying: “What police describe is deeply troubling. The driver has been removed from the app, and we stand ready to assist the Boston Police Department with their investigation.”
The two Northeastern University police officers were on a regular patrol throughout the neighborhood when they “noticed suspicious activity in a parked car,” said a school representative. Neither Thaba nor the victim is associated with Northeastern.
Thapa is scheduled to appear in court again on April 17.