Uber driver accused of kidnapping teen after Sweet 16 party

The 15-year-old was able to escape after convincing the driver she needed to go to the bathroom and calling the police from a McDonald's, prosecutors say

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By Ben Kesslen

A New York Uber driver was charged with kidnapping after picking up a 15-year-old girl from a Sweet 16 party and allegedly trying to bring her to his Brooklyn home, prosecutors said.

Sean Williams, 32, was arraigned Tuesday and charged for the July incident where he picked the minor up around 11:15 pm on Long Island and attempted to convince her to drink with him, according to the Nassau County District Attorney’s office.

When the girl protested and asked to go home, repeatedly saying she was only 15, Williams apparently drove in the wrong direction towards his home — where the DA says he planned to sexually assault her.

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Authorities say the young girl convinced Williams she had to go to the bathroom, ran into a McDonald’s and called the police. Four days later, the driver was arrested outside his Brooklyn home.

“The girl was terrorized by the defendant’s alleged behavior and bravely took action to contact police and free herself,” District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement.

In a statement to NBC News, William’s attorney, Steven Galtman, said, “Several factors lend itself to contrast the alleged kidnapping.”

“The alleged victim had her cell phone on her person the entire car ride and at the first opportunity after she made the request to use a bathroom Mr. Williams obliged wherein she entered the McDonald's unaccompanied,” Galtman said of his client’s ride with the 15-year old.

Williams was charged with kidnapping, endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful imprisonment.

Uber told NBC News that they banned Williams from the app when the incident was first reported.

“What has been reported is deeply alarming and the driver’s access to the app has been removed. We stand ready to cooperate with law enforcement,” a spokesperson for the company said.

Williams faces up to 25 years in prison if he is convicted of all the charges he is facing, the DA’s office said.

Suzanne Ciechalski and Rima Abdelkader contributed.