Woman files lawsuit against Uber, San Antonio driver she claims raped her

Bexar County Sheriff's deputies arrested and charged Juan Diego Ontiveros with sexual assault back in October 2017. (Photo: Bexar County Sheriff's Office)

SAN ANTONIO -- A woman who claims a former Uber driver sexually assaulted her after failing to drop her off at home has filed a lawsuit against him and the ride share company.

The lawyers representing this woman say this civil lawsuit won't begin until the criminal case against the driver is complete.

“It was a horrible experience for her," said Jeff Wigington, one of the attorneys representing the victim.

Nearly a year after the alleged incident, Wigington and Ryan Orsatti say it still has a traumatic effect on their client.

“It affects the way that she thinks about her daily life the way she thinks about her safety," said Wigington.

Back in February 2017, investigators say the woman ordered a ride to her aunt's house on the east side after leaving a downtown bar.

The lawsuit says Juan Diego Ontiveros responded to the request.

"The Uber driver went to her aunt's house drove around in circles for some period of time," said Wigington.

That's when detectives say Ontiveros drove 30 miles to his house on the northwest side

The lawsuit claims Ontiveros took the woman inside and raped her.

“We believe the evidence will show that those policies and procedures that Uber follows are inadequate," said Wigington.

The next day, the woman told sheriff's deputies something didn't feel right.

Her lawyers say a fraud alert from her bank served as another indicator.

"Because her credit card had been charged for over $200 for the ride that led to her being sexually assaulted," said Wigington.

The woman is seeking damages "in amounts that the jury finds the evidence supports and..finds to be appropriate under all the circumstances."

The attorneys say that want to force a change in the company's policies on background checks and routes.

“If an Uber driver deviates significantly from a route from the pin that you drop then there should be some warning to Uber, to the user, to the authorities," said Wigington.

Sheriff's deputies arrested and charged Ontiveros with sexual assault in October of 2017.

He is out of jail after posting a $50,000 bond in early November.

Uber says they immediately removed his access to the app.

They declined to comment further since the civil lawsuit is pending litigation.

Uber referred to a statement they made in October 2017:

"What's been reported is horrible and is something that no one should have to go through. As soon as we were made aware, we immediately removed this driver's access and worked with Bexar County Sheriff's Office to provide information for their investigation."

Ontiveros’ criminal trial is scheduled to begin on May 31.

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