LEE’s SUMMIT, Mo. — Two men are behind bars, facing charges that they raped an Uber driver from the metro.
That alleged incident happened this weekend, and the victim told FOX4 those two men forced her from her car, and into a hotel room, where she was assaulted repeatedly.
That driver, Tarrah Hendricks, 31, said she feared for her life. Hendricks, a mother of two, picked up the two men on Saturday night at a Comfort Inn Hotel on Ralph Powell Road in Lee’s Summit.
Hendricks said she took the two passengers to a nearby liquor store, and when they returned to the hotel, the two men blocked her car in the parking lot.
She told Lee’s Summit Police the two men forced her into the hotel, where she was made to drink alcohol before the alleged assault happened.
“The entire time, they were talking in Russian and I didn’t understand what they were saying,” Hendrick said. “One of the guys grabbed me and threw me on the bed and it started from there.”
FOX4 doesn’t typically identify alleged victims of sexual assault. However Hendricks wanted to go public with her story to warn others, especially fellow ride-sharing drivers. Hendricks said she’s been driving for Uber since August, when she lost her regular job due to the pandemic.
Hendricks said the alleged assault went on for hours. Documents from the Jackson County Prosecutor show where one of her attackers is accused of video chatting with another man, displaying video of the incident while the assault went on in his presence.
“It was a horrific experience,” Hendricks said.
Hendricks said she finally escaped by pretending to be sick, using that as her chance to text a friend, who, in turn, sent police to the hotel. Jackson County Prosecutor records indicate two men of Russian descent, Oleksandr Isakov and Ruslanas Kupratas, were arrested.
Both men are in jail, facing three sexual assault charges each. Those records quote Isakov and Kupratas as having told officers the encounter was consensual.
Becca Anderson, a program coordinator with MOCSA, confronts issues rooted in sexual assault every day. Anderson said it’s hard to determine if rapes happen more frequently at the holidays — or where ride-sharing services are concerned, since many assaults are never reported. MOCSA has a policy against commenting on ongoing assault cases.
“What we know about somebody who wants to assault someone is they don’t care what that person wants,” Anderson said. “Survivors are doing the best they can to survive in those moments.”
FOX4 reached out to Comfort Inn’s public relations office in Maryland, but our calls and emails weren’t answered on Monday. A Texas-based spokesperson for Uber said the company wants to hear from Hendricks personally, in effort to offer her support. On Monday evening, Hendricks said her calls to the company hadn’t been returned.
*By Sean McDowell, Fox4 Kansas City*