Uber driver held in sex­ual as­sault

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Michael P. Rel­la­han mrel­la­[email protected]­tu­ry­media.com Staff Writer

WEST CH­ESTER >> A Com­mon Pleas judge has agreed to place a Mont­gomery County man ac­cused or rap­ing a woman while he was driv­ing for Uber on strin­gent bail re­quire­ments to in­sure that he ap­pears for trial in the fu­ture.

On Thurs­day, Judge Pa­trick Car­mody said that de­fen­dant Ahmed Mostafa El­gaa­fary would have to sur­ren­der all his pass­ports, whether for­eign or do­mes­tic, check in with the Ch­ester County Pre-Trial Ser­vices Depart­ment in per­son on a weekly ba­sis, and sub­mit to elec­tronic home mon­i­tor­ing by 10 a.m. Fri­day.

The judge set the con­di­tions af­ter As­sis­tant District At­tor­ney Vin­cent Cocco, who is pros­e­cut­ing El­gaa­fary on the rape charges, ar­gued that the Egyp­tian na­tional is a flight risk be­cause of the se­ri­ous na­ture of the case against him and the fact that he may still hold an Egyp­tian pass­port.

El­gaa­fary ap­peared in court at the county Jus­tice Cen­ter at the bail hear­ing on Thurs­day. He has been free on $50,000 cash bail since late last month.

Ac­cord­ing to an ar­rest af­fi­davit filed by state Trooper Amos Glick, El­gaa­fary, 26, of Lans­dale, was iden­ti­fied as the driver of an Uber ride shar­ing car that picked up a woman at the Val­ley Forge Casino in Up­per Me­rion in the early morn­ing hours of Feb. 10.

The woman told in­ves­ti­ga­tors that she had been at the casino and was drink­ing heav­ily that morn­ing. She called for an Uber ride to take her home, and was picked up at about 2:20 a.m. She said she did not re­mem­ber any­thing about the ride home, and woke up in her home that morn­ing nau­seous and with a “bad feel­ing that some­thing may have hap­pened.”

She had bruises on her legs and fore­head, and dirt un­der her fin­ger­nails. She was also dressed only in a bra when she woke up.

Check­ing the Uber ap­pli­ca­tions, the woman, whose name was not in­cluded in the af­fi­davit, saw that the ride had lasted ap­prox­i­mately 58 min­utes, when the nor­mal travel time be­tween the casino and her home in Charlestown is about 15 min­utes.

She was taken to Pottstown Hos­pi­tal, where a sex­ual as­sault

ex­am­i­na­tion was con­ducted, in­clud­ing swabs for her DNA.

Glick, a seven-year vet­eran of the state po­lice as­signed to the Lan­caster bar­racks, was able to iden­tify El­gaa­fary as the Uber driver who had picked her up the night of Feb. 10. He ap­peared for an in­ter­view on March 2, and said he re­mem­bered pick­ing the woman up, and notic­ing that she ap­peared in­tox­i­cated. He said she vom­ited mul­ti­ple times dur­ing the ride, but de­nied hav­ing any sex­ual con­tact with her. He vol­un­tar­ily agreed to pro­vide Glick with a sam­ple of his DNA.

When Glick later re­ceived the re­sults of the ex­am­i­na­tion, he said the state po­lice foren­sic lab had de­tected ev­i­dence of sperm on the vic­tim. A DNA anal­y­sis of that pos­i­tively iden­ti­fied his DNA in the ex­am­i­na­tion re­sults ... con­firm­ing that he had had sex with the woman.

He was ar­rested on Oct. 31, and charged with rape of an un­con­scious per­son, in­vol­un­tary de­vi­ate sex­ual in­ter­course, sex­ual as­sault, and in­de­cent as­sault. He was ar­raigned by Mag­is­te­rial District Judge Joann Teyral of Phoenixville, who ini­tially set bail at $75,000, which he could not post. Af­ter a pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing at which he was held for trial on all charges, the judge re­duced his bail to $50,000 cash.

Cocco said in his pe­ti­tion to mod­ify his bail that El­gaa­fary posted bail on Nov. 21.

The pros­e­cu­tor noted in his pe­ti­tion that El­gaa­fary has been in the United States since 2008, first on a stu­dent visa at Tem­ple Univer­sity, and later af­ter he was de­tained for hav­ing over­stayed his visa, as a law­ful per­ma­nent res­i­dent be­cause of his 2014 mar­riage to a U.S. ci­ti­zen.

He is rep­re­sented by de­fense at­tor­ney Jonathan Alt­man of West Ch­ester.

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