An Indian Uber Driver, who was convicted of rape while endangering the life of a woman, kidnapping, and criminal intimidation last month, has been given a sentence of life in prison.
Shiv Kumar Yadav was found guilty in Delhi on October 20th. His victim, 26, said she fell asleep in the back of his car and when she woke up she found herself in a “secluded location” with Yadav on her in the backseat.
The BBC reports that Yadav’s life sentence is the maximum penalty he could’ve received.
The Delhi Uber rape case was one of the most-publicized in recent memory – not just in India but also in the US. In January, the victim sued Uber in US federal court. Her lawsuit was scathing, calling Uber the “modern day equivalent of electronic hitchhiking.” She demanded damages and called for Uber to institute some passenger safeguards in India, including mandatory in-car video cameras.
Uber was quick to express its disgust when reports of the crime emerged.
“This is an abhorrent crime. Our thoughts remain with the victim who has shown tremendous courage under the circumstances,” said Uber’s Saad Ahmed at the time. “Safety is our #1 priority and in India.”
Uber was then suspended in New Delhi.
“We are sorry and deeply saddened by what happened over the weekend in New Delhi. Our hearts go out to the victim of this horrible crime. We have been and will continue to do everything in our power to assist the authorities to help bring the perpetrator to justice,” said Uber. “The events of this week have made us reflect on our operations in India and we are immediately undertaking a number of important actions. During this review, we will suspend operations in New Delhi.”
Uber was later reinstated after applying for the required taxi licenses.
A few months later, Uber improved its “SOS” button for Indian passengers. When in a dangerous situation, tapping the SOS button on the app will automatically connect you with the police – and the update allowed it to also automatically send GPS info.
In September, the woman pulled her lawsuit.