Prosecutors: Lyft driver sexually abused woman sitting in front seat

Posted: Updated:
CENTRAL ISLIP -

A Long Island Lyft driver is accused of sexually abusing one of his passengers.

Police say 36-year-old Hussein Saleh, of Farmingville, picked up two women around 3 a.m. Sunday in Patchogue. During the drive on Carlton Avenue in Central Islip, prosecutors say Saleh touched the woman in the front seat in a sexual manner. They say he touched her in two spots on her body. One of the women then called 911.

Police say the victim was so intoxicated that she was passed out and unable to consent.

Saleh is charged with two counts of first-degree sexual abuse. He pleaded not guilty in Central Islip court Monday morning.

The defense questioned the victim's credibility, claiming she was under the influence.

The judge signed orders of protection for Saleh to stay away from the two women. Bail was set at $25,000.

Lyft responded to the arrest with a statement saying:

These allegations described are horrific. The safety of our community is our number one priority and we have absolutely no tolerance for this behavior on the platform. Upon learning of the incident, we immediately deactivated the driver and reached out to the passenger to offer our full support. We stand ready to assist law enforcement with their investigation.

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