While there is so much negative media coverage of Uber and their drivers, it seems that now some positive reports are being publicized. Uber drivers are regular hard-working people seeking an honest living and trying to make a better place for themselves, their families, and their passengers, and one Uber driver made a world-shattering difference to one passenger.
The unfortunate incident involved a 21-year-old Californian girl who was forced (allegedly) into female prostitution by a gang that specializes in human trafficking. Pennsylvania State Attorney General Josh Shapiro stated that the group is facing charges of human trafficking.
The defendants, both from Decatur, Arianna Somerville aged 27 and Kashamba John aged 29 are held in custody and charged with trafficking in individual, prostitution, involuntary servitude, corruption organizations, conspiracy and other offenses. Another accomplice Tyler Bachtel has yet to be caught.
According to investigators, Bachtel met the young woman in an LA nightclub and offered her an easy money job as an escort, thereby luring her to go with him.
Bachtel flew with her to Atlanta, GA where they met up with Bachtel's business partner John, and then the two men forced her to have sex with up to 30 men a day. The two accomplices took the victims ID and made her work 16 hours a day from 8 am till 00:30 am every day. The third accomplice, Somerville would allegedly manage the website Backoffice and use the name "Amy" set the victims schedule.
The prosecution stated that on Oct. 5th,2016 the victim was taken by John to a King of Prussia motel where she was forced to meet with more clients. From that meeting, John booked an Uber car to transport the victim to a Philadelphia hotel to meet with more clients; it is this ride that saved the victim and changed her life.
During the ride, the girl told her driver that she was the victim of a forced human trafficking ring and wanted to get help from the police. The Uber driver managed to find a State trooper and flagged him over where the victim was taken to the police barracks nearby.
The two defendants, John and Somerville, will attend preliminary hearings on Friday. John is being held in Montgomery County Jail on $1 million bails and denied all accusations categorically labeling him a human sex trafficker, and in court will prove his innocence. Sommerville, who posted her $50,000 bail stated that the only reason the woman when to the police was due to a financial dispute and that she was not a victim but a willing participant.
The investigation is a collaboration of Upper Merion Township Police, the Office of the Attorney General, Pennsylvania State Police and Homeland Security Investigations.
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