ExUber driver hiding in Quebec faces extradition to California on rape charge

first_imgMONTREAL – U.S. authorities are seeking to extradite a former Uber driver from San Francisco who was being investigated on rape charges before vanishing and then emerging in Montreal earlier this summer.Court documents filed last month in Montreal say Mohamed Ben Azaza is wanted in California after failing to show up for a meeting in early March with detectives investigating the case.The Tunisian-born Ben Azaza, 38, was being investigated for an alleged sexual assault involving an intoxicated 19-year-old passenger in October 2017.Prosecutors say Ben Azaza picked up the alleged victim from a party and had non-consensual sexual intercourse with her before she woke up in his bed the next day.In a police interview, Ben Azaza denied having sex with the woman. He said she had requested permission to sleep in his car and that he later let her inside his home for breakfast and to call someone to pick her up.He also told authorities he was no longer working for Uber and agreed to meet investigating officers to provide a DNA swab.He did not appear as planned last March 8 and, as detectives could not reach him later, a warrant was issued on a rape charge in late June.The court filing seeking his extradition notes the penalty upon conviction is a minimum of three years imprisonment.The accused has been detained since early July, when Montreal police arrested him after noting an outstanding warrant when he filed a complaint about the theft of his identification papers.U.S. authorities believe Ben Azaza is an imminent flight risk and that extradition is necessary because Canada may send him to Tunisia, which has no extradition treaty with the United States.Ben Azaza is currently detained and faces an extradition hearing in Quebec Superior Court on Sept. 21.Canadian authorities, including the federal Justice Department, declined comment on Tuesday.last_img read more