Months after one of their drivers allegedly raped her in the backseat of his car, Cristen Giangarra, has accused ex-Lyft driver Larry Ward, of sexually assaulting her on June 22. Ward had picked Giangarra up after a night of drinking. According to Giangarra’s lawyers, she had fallen asleep when Ward climbed into the backseat and assaulted her.
The ride should have taken seven minutes, but was not reported as completed until an hour later. Allegedly, Ward turned off the Lyft app for 35 minutes during the sexual assault. Giangarra went to the hospital the following morning and had a rape kit completed. The DNA was matched with Ward, which in turn resulted in his arrest for first-degree rape and kidnapping in December.
Named as Jane Doe in the lawsuit, Giangarra publicly identified herself as the plaintiff during Thursday’s press conference. Illinois-based attorney Mike L. Gallagher, who filed the lawsuit on Wednesday, said his firm’s research revealed Ward has a criminal history dating back to the 1980s. Ward was charged with sexual assault in 2002 but was not convicted. He was charged with theft and drug-related crimes in Chicago.
Despite his criminal record, Ward still passed Lyft’s “background check”, revealing just how inadequately the ride-share company vets its drivers.