Woman who says she was sexually abused by cab driver speaks out - WSMV News 4

Woman who says she was sexually abused by cab driver speaks out

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Samir Hindieh (Source: Metro Nashville Police Department) Samir Hindieh (Source: Metro Nashville Police Department)

A Nashville woman said although she works downtown, she can’t bring herself to ride in another cab after she was sexually abused by a driver.

Days before that driver is set to go back to court, she broke her silence in an exclusive interview with Channel 4.

Jennifer Jackson said she hasn’t been able to speak publicly about what happened to her for two years because her case was in court. Now she can.

She told Channel 4 that if management at the Yellow Cab Company had listened to her complaint of sexual abuse, maybe a Belmont student would not have been raped allegedly by the same cab driver.

“They just sat on their hands while this was happening the first time,” Jackson said.

Jackson said she was leaving a New Year’s Eve party in 2015 with a friend. Samir Hindieh was the driver.

"We dropped my friend off first and almost immediately after we dropped him, the taxi driver just got real handsy and was trying to touch and hold my hand and stuff like that," Jackson said. "I kept telling him to stop and he wouldn’t stop.”

She said Hindieh fondled her. Upset, she called Yellow Cab to report, but she said for nearly a week her efforts went nowhere while the company said they couldn’t find Hindieh’s information.

"It took for or five calls, and no one was really paying attention to me," Jackson said.

She says one person from Yellow Cab told even her the driver may have thought she was cute and was trying to flirt with her. She finally called police.

A few months later, Hindieh, who was still driving for Yellow Cab as a contract worker, was accused of raping a Belmont student that he had picked up for a ride.

"He was using that cab as a tool to assault women, and it should have been taken away from him," Jackson exclaimed.

Since this happened, the Yellow Cab Company's management told Channel 4 they have not changed any of their policies or improved reporting practices.

Friday, their assistant manager Marvin Sutton said they have updated their computer systems to have more information on drivers.

The Metro Transportation Licensing Commission has tightened background check standards for people applying for a license.

Instead of only considering the last five years in a background check, they now check the last seven. They’ve also added domestic violence and domestic assault as automatic disqualifiers for getting a license.

Transportation Licensing director Billy Fields said the commission also gives him more authority to make decisions in emergency safety situations instead of waiting on a full commission vote.

"As the director, I now have authority to immediately suspend a driver if I believe that public safety is in danger," he said.

Jackson said she no longer rides taxis and tries not to need to use ride sharing when possible.

She said she is speaking out hoping for change and transparency within the companies, and that no other woman has to endure the same experience.

"We should be able to know exactly who is driving that cab," Jackson said. "There should be some sort of background check, something you can check on before you’re even in the car and the doors are locked and you're on the freeway."

Hindieh has been out of jail. He has a hearing scheduled for next week in Jackson’s sexual battery case. He is scheduled for a hearing in the rape case next month.

Jackson settled a lawsuit with Yellow Cab.

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