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Uber driver charged with sexual battery a year after accusations surfaced

Aleksey Gafanovich was charged with sexual battery almost a year after being accused of the crime. (PBSO)

An Uber driver who was arrested for sexual battery nearly a year after his accuser came forward is out of jail on bond. He's been ordered to have no contact with the victim, and isn't allowed to drive for Uber or possess a weapon.

On Feb. 25, 2017, at around 2 a.m., a woman called Boynton Beach Police to report being sexually violated by her Uber driver. She had been celebrating her 21st birthday.

It wasn't until almost a year later that the man she accused, Aleksey Gafanovich, was arrested.

According to a Boynton Beach Police arrest report, the unidentified woman told police officers she went to a restaurant with friends to celebrate turning 21 a few days prior. After having a few drinks, she and two of her friends took an Uber home - Gafanovich was their driver. After dropping off the woman's two friends, Gafanovich stopped to smoke a cigarette. The victim agreed to this stop, saying she wanted to smoke as well. Once they returned to the car, the woman said the Uber driver touched her breasts and genitals against her will. She said this occurred somewhere on federal Highway in Boynton Beach.

Even though the woman reported the incident as soon as the driver dropped her off at her destination, it took almost a year for police to gather the DNA evidence and results to arrest and charge Gafanovich with sexual battery.

Take a look at the timeline of events detailed in the arrest report.

Timeline:

  • Feb. 25, 2017 - Woman reports the incident to Boynton Beach Police officers and completes a forensic exam where DNA samples were collected.
  • Mar. 9, 2017 - Boynton Beach Police officers question Uber driver, Aleksey Gafanovich, at police headquaters. Officers record his sworn statement in which he denies the allegations of sexual battery but admits to having been the victim's Uber driver.
  • Apr. 17, 2017 - Gafanovich consents to give a DNA sample at Boynton Beach Police headquarters.
  • Jan. 30, 2018 - Boynton Beach Police receive a copy of the lab report from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office that compares the DNA samples of Gafanovich and the victim. The report concludes that Gafanovich can not be excluded as a contributor to the DNA found inside of the woman's genitals.
  • Feb. 1, 2018 - An officer investigating the case writes in an arrest report that he had reason to believe that Gafanovich committed sexual battery upon the victim, based on the victim's statements and the DNA evidence.
  • Feb. 8, 2018 - Boynton Beach Police arrests Gafanovich.
  • Feb. 10th, 2018 - Gafanovich released on 250-thousand dollar bond.
  • March 12th - Next court date.


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