Taxi driver sentenced for sexual abuse

Taxi driver sentenced for sexual abuse
Taxi sign. Photo: APA/Hochmuth
A Viennese taxi driver on trial for allegedly sexually abusing two teenagers has been accused by a third woman, who recognised him as she sat in on the court proceedings in May. He was sentenced on Wednesday to six years in prison.

A friend of the woman told her that a man was on trial for attacking two young women who had been passengers in his taxi – and as she had been through a similar experience she decided to sit in the public gallery of the courtroom. When she realised it was the same man she filed a complaint with the public prosecutor.

All three women claimed to have been attacked while taking a taxi from the U4 nightclub, after having drunk too much alcohol. The incidents happened in September 2011 and August 2013.

The 59-year-old taxi driver, described as a family man with four children, is accused of having taken advantage of the young women’s intoxicated state. The prosecution says that he forced the girls into sexual acts in the taxi and that they were not in a position to be able to fight him off.

The court found that there was sufficient evidence to enter a guilty plea.  He was sentenced to six years in prison, and has to pay the two victims a total of €18,400 as compensation for pain and suffering.

In addition, there is a third case pending, based on the complaint of the possible additional victim, who recognized the man while he was in court.

Evidence considered by the court included DNA samples, collected from one of the victims soon after the event.  The accused claimed that the 18-year-old girl had consensual sex with him, despite her intoxication.