Indian Student Taxi Driver in Canberra accused of raping passenger

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A Canberra taxi driver has been accused of raping a passenger who caught his cab home after a night out in Civic last year.

Neelander Neel Sirohi, 30, allegedly picked up the woman from the cab rank near the Civic bus interchange on Alinga Street about 3.20 one morning in August 2013.

Police say the woman was vulnerable, and was heavily affected by alcohol and prescription medication, including valium.

Sirohi is accused of sexually abusing the woman as she sat in the front passenger seat.

She said she told him to stop and that it hurt, according to court documents.

Sirohi allegedly told her to shush, and is accused of driving her to his home in Harrison instead of back to her own house.

Police allege he had sexual intercourse with the passenger without her consent, before dropping her back home.

She has little memory of the ordeal, court documents suggest.

The woman told police she felt her state of intoxication to be paralytic and said she was sleepy while in the cab.

She made a complaint soon after, police say, telling her mother:

“Something happened to me, it was the taxi driver.”

She was taken to hospital and examined by forensic medical specialists.

Sirohi was eventually arrested and interviewed, but denied the allegations.

He appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court on Monday for an argument over his bail conditions.

He has pleaded not guilty and has denied to police ever having had sex with any passenger.

Prosecutors described the case against Sirohi as “very strong”, and asked the court to impose a reporting condition.

The court heard he had surrendered his passport, and was in Australia on a 572 student visa.

Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker varied his bail to make Sirohi report to police once a week, and not to threaten, intimidate, harass, or contact the complainant.

His case will reappear in court in January.

Source: Canberra Times