A Lyft driver has been charged with battery after Lyons police said he sexually harassed and tried to have sex with a 17-year-old passenger.
Lyons spokesperson Ray Hanania said Anthony Vicari of Chicago was called to pick up a 17-year-old girl in Worth and take her to her home in Lyons on Oct. 12.
The girl told police that while she was being transported home by Vicari, he made repeated sexual advances and asked her to go to a motel with him, Hanania said. She also told police that when stopped at a red light, he would rub her thigh and leg and then ask her sexual questions.
The girl and her mother reported the incident to Lyons police the next day, Hanania said. Police conducted an investigation and identified Vicari as a suspect.
Hanania said Vicari sat down for an interview with detectives and admitted to touching the girl but blamed his actions on a recent divorce.
Vicari was charged with battery. Hanania said he has no prior convictions but has several past sex-related arrests which were not prosecuted.
According to Lyft, all Chicago drivers undergo third-party professionally administered background checks which report convictions and non-conviction records as subject to federal and state regulations.
Background checks are completed annually and any driver who does not pass a check is immediately deactivated from the platform. Vicari passed his background check last September.
"The allegations described are horrifying. The safety of the Lyft community is our number one priority, and the behavior described is absolutely unacceptable," a Lyft spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. "The driver has been permanently deactivated and we are actively assisting law enforcement with their investigation."
Vicari is scheduled to appear in court in January.
Lyft driver accused of sexually harassing 17-year-old passenger on ride to Lyons