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Woman Claims Lyft Charged Her For A Ride That Resulted In Her Severe Gang Rape

Being a woman means you’re always in danger. Predators lurk everywhere and for Alison Turkos, unfortunately, a Lyft ride home would become every woman’s worst nightmare. Turkos, among dozens of other women, is suing Lyft after she says her driver kidnapped her and gang-raped her along with two men. Turkos believes that Lyft is obstructing justice by not cooperating with law enforcement. 

Moreover, she believes that the driver who raped her has continued to work for the company for years. This is her story. 

Alison Turkos tells her story in Medium

“In the fall of 2017, I got into a Lyft after a night out with friends. All I wanted to do was get home safely and go to bed. This was supposed to be the safer option than walking home or taking the subway late at night alone. What should have been a 15-minute drive, turned into an 80-minute living nightmare,” Turkos wrote in an essay for Medium

Turkos says her Lyft driver kidnapped her at gunpoint, drove her across state lines, and the driver along with two other men (at least) raped her. 

Apologies for the “inconvenience”

Turkos reported the kidnapping to Lyft within 24 hours. Turkos claims they merely apologized for the inconvenience. 

“Lyft ‘apologized for the inconvenience that I’d been through’ and informed me they ‘appreciated the voice of their customers and were committed to doing their best in giving me the support that I needed,’” she wrote. 

She had to pay the $12.81 in carfare. Turkos says the driver who raped her has continued to work for Lyft in the years since. This to her is all the evidence she needs to sue — not to get justice for herself — but to prevent future incidents like it. Lyft must be held accountable. 

Lyft’s inaction is triggering

Turkos reported the rape and kidnapping to the police two days after. But Turkos says the fact that her driver is still out there living consequence-free despite all the evidence (GPS phone tracking, customer service transcript, police reports, DNA of two men), has worsened her PTSD. 

“Lyft’s failure to remove the driver from the app, and allow him to continue driving under a new name and profile has not only exacerbated my PTSD and inability to feel safe, but has also placed other passengers lives at risk,” she wrote. “How many other passengers has this man harmed while on Lyft’s payroll in the two years since I reported?”

Lyft’s Statement

Lyft’s position on the matter? Rape happens to women all the time so it’s not their fault. Another insult to sexual assault survivors everywhere.

“What this rider describes is awful, and something no one should have to endure,” a Lyft spokesperson told Motherboard. “The unfortunate fact remains that one in six women will face some form of sexual violence in their lives — behavior that’s unacceptable for our society and on our platform. In this case, the driver passed the New York City TLC’s background check and was permitted to drive.” 

Lyft has since added 14 new safety features including in-app emergency assistance and background check monitoring. But this isn’t an isolated incident. Last month, Lyft faced another lawsuit by 14 women who say they were raped by Lyft drivers. This would bring the total to 26 Lyft users since August 1, 2019, who claim Lyft failed to protect them from sexual violence. 

Why Turkos is suing Lyft

Turkos, along with the many other women believe Lyft is purposefully stone-walling their cases. By suing they hope to challenge the processes by which Lyft handles sexual assault claims. 

“The plaintiffs accuse the company of refusing to cooperate with law enforcement and failing to adequately screen potential drivers,” according to CBS. Moreover, multiple women, not only Turkos, claim that the drivers who raped them were allowed to continuing working for the company or that Lyft would not tell them if the driver had been terminated. 

“Lyft’s failure to properly investigate the failures of their system that lead to my kidnapping and rape has severely hampered the ongoing criminal investigation,” Turkos wrote. “Lyft’s feeble public response to viral tweets and other lawsuits has made a mockery of me and the other victims who have come forward. We don’t want partial refunds. We don’t want $5 credits to continue using your service.” 

It cannot go without saying: believe women. There is no glory in coming forward as a rape survivor just more triggering events and more scrutiny. Women do not come forward for attention, they come forward for justice. 

A Mother Discovered Videos Of Her Missing 15-Year-Old Daughter On The Adult Site PornHub

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A Mother Discovered Videos Of Her Missing 15-Year-Old Daughter On The Adult Site PornHub

FTND / Twitter

A Florida man was arrested following a mother’s discovery of videos that show him and her 15-year-old daughter, who had been missing for a year, engaging in sexual acts, police say. 

According to NBC, 30-year-old Christopher Johnson was taken into police custody and charged with lewd and lascivious battery of a child under 16. Authorities also found the girl with him in the car where Johnson was apprehended. The girl was reported missing in December 2018 after leaving her home in Sunrise, Florida at around 3 AM. 

Police were unable to track down the girl until her mother contacted authorities with a tip after discovering sexually explicit images and videoes of the missing teen on Porhub, SnapChat and Periscope. 

The teen was spotted two months after she was missing, but the lead went nowhere.

The girl was seen at a convenience store with two men according to a tip police received in February. Surveillance video showed the teenager covering her face and after realizing the store clerk recognized her. The clerk told police that she and the two men left in a black Dodge Challenger. However, without the license plate they couldn’t find the vehicle. 

Only now did authorities discover that one of the two men at the store with her was Johnson. 

The girl’s mother sends in a second tip to the police.  

A Davie Police affidavit indicated the mother contacted authorities on September 3 regarding the discovery of images of her daughter. In the videos, the teen performs sexual acts with two adult males. Around 58 videos of the 15-year-old girl were shared online. 

During the investigation, police determined that Johnson was one of the males involved in the videos. 

Police track down Christopher Johnson.

After getting a license plate for the black Dodge Challenger when it was spotted at a different store in the area, police were able to trace it back to Johnson. Authorities began to keep Johnson’s apartment under close surveillance before making the arrest. 

“Surveillance was conducted on this address by several detectives,” the police department said. 

Police then apprehended Johnson when she and the girl were getting into the car. Johnson denied having sex with the girl. However, according to FOX 32,  Detective Adam Granit wrote in his police report, “the victim stated that she got pregnant from the defendant and he took her to the clinic to have an abortion.”

According to NBC, during a search of Johnson’s apartment detectives uncovered paperwork from an abortion clinic. The girl, whose identity is anonymous because she is a minor, told authorities that all of the sexual videos were filmed on her cellphone in Johnson’s apartment. She also told police that Johnson got her pregnant and took her to an abortion clinic to terminate the pregnancy. 

Johnson is being held on a $75,000 in Broward Main Jail in Fort Lauderdale. 

Many of the women in crowdsourced pornography websites are sex trafficked. 

According to Fight The New Drug, the United States is a major source of sex trafficking in the world. Anyone who watches pornography on a website with user-generated content has probably seen a victim of sex trafficking. 

“Sometimes, pornographic images and videos are fringe “products” from victims being sold for sex. Sometimes, recruiters specifically use force, fraud, or coercion to ensnare vulnerable or unsuspecting people into performing sex acts on camera.” 

According to Rescue:Freedom, in the nine countries surveyed, 49 percent of sexually exploited women say pornographic videos of them were made while they were being sold for sex.

Just this month the owners of the website GirlsDoPorn were charged with sex trafficking by the FBI after discovering the men tricked women into appearing in pornographic videos. The website made $17 million off of the scheme. Many of the victims’ videos were also discovered on PornHub. 

The owners used a bait and switch method of promising college students they would do modeling only form them to discover the modeling gig was pornography. 

“They agreed to participate anyway, federal authorities claim in court documents, because of a promise that the videos were being created exclusively for private collectors or DVDs sold abroad and would never be posted online,” according to the Washington Post.

“The women say they were horrified to find out their shoots were online; many were harassed or ostracized as a result. At least one was disowned by her family, according to the FBI.”

However, the FBI discovered that it was a lie. Moreover, the women were often coerced threatened with legal action if they didn’t perform sexual acts, were prevented from leaving the shoots, and sometimes forcibly sexual assaulted.  Thus, one mother’s discovery highlights a damning truth about pornographic websites. 

NBC Says It Will Release The NDAs That Sexual Harassment Survivors Were Forced To Sign

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NBC Says It Will Release The NDAs That Sexual Harassment Survivors Were Forced To Sign

Rachel Maddow announced NBCUniversal will release former employees who experienced sexual harassment and misconduct from non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreements. The decision marks a huge victory for survivors. Ronan Farrow revealed in his book, Catch and Kill, that NBC went through great lengths to suppress and cover up sexual harassment allegations against Matt Lauer and other executives. 

“There was a pattern at [NBC] in terms of women making allegations against Matt Lauer and of being paid off and signing away their rights to speak about it all before he was fired,” Maddow said on her show.

While the network vehemently denies the claims in Farrow’s book, Maddow, whose show airs on MSNBC, dedicated an entire episode to interviewing Farrow and even independently corroborated some of his reporting. 

NBCUniversal announces it will release some former employees from NDAs.

“Any former NBC News employee who believes that they cannot disclose their experience with sexual harassment as a result of a confidentiality or non-disparagement provision in their separation agreement should contact NBCUniversal and we will release them from that perceived obligation,” a spokesperson for NBCUniversal said in a statement

In Farrow’s book, the journalist revealed that NBC had made at least seven women sign non-disclosure agreements, some of who filed sexual misconduct complaints about the Today Show host Matt Lauer. 

“Several of the women who signed the nondisclosure agreements had complaints that were unrelated to Lauer, about other men in leadership positions within NBC News,” Farrow wrote, while some of the other agreements “called into question the network’s claim that it had known nothing about women’s allegations against Lauer.”

The revelation contradicted the network, who claimed in 2017, that their internal investigation found that there were no other claims or settlements regarding allegations against Lauer.  

Maddow calls out her NBC employers on her show. 

“I have been through a lot of ups and downs in this company since I’ve been here. It would be impossible to overstate the amount of consternation around this issue,” Maddow said. “But accusations that people in positions of authority in this building may have been complicit in some way of shielding those guys from accountability, those accusations are very, very hard to stomach.”

Maddow was able to confirm Farrow’s reporting that NBC tried to obstruct his article on Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault allegations. 

“We have independently confirmed that NBC News did that,” Maddow told viewers. “That did happen. He was told to pause his reporting.”

The day before Farrow’s book was published NBC News’ president Noah Oppenheim published a letter pre-emptively denying the allegations. 

“Farrow alleges there were employees who reported Lauer’s behavior prior to November of 2017 and were paid settlements to silence them,” said Noah Oppenheim, NBC News’ president, in a memo to staff. “Not only is this false, the so-called evidence Farrow uses in his book to support the charge collapses under the slightest scrutiny.”

Farrow praises NBC’s decision to release former employees from their NDAs.

“I think this will go a long way towards making them feel that they can discuss this openly,” Farrow told Maddow on her show.

Non-disclosure agreements are typically used to protect proprietary business information but can be weaponized against sexual misconduct victims by forcing them into silence with the threat of legal action. 

Farrow has maintained for years that NBC executives ordered him to shut down his groundbreaking reporting about the misconduct allegations against Weinstein because Weinstein threatened to publicly expose the allegations against Lauer. 

“This is a documented pattern of secret settlements in this company,” he told Maddow.

Lauer was fired in 2017 by MSNBC when a colleague filed a complaint accusing him of sexual harassment during the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Two additional women filed reports following his dismissal. Lauer still denies any allegations. 

Farrow alleges NBC had at least seven women sign NDAs.

In one case, Farrow wrote that one unnamed on-air personality signed an NDA in 2012, alleging that, “NBC sought the deal after she showed colleagues messages she took to be propositions, from both Lauer and one of the senior executives who later departed the company.” 

Farrow says the woman didn’t file a formal complaint in fear of retaliation that would harm her career. In another incident, Farrow spoke to a former producer who alleges Lauer exposed his erect penis to her at the office in 2010. Catch and Kill claims that the woman told Ann Curry, Lauer’s co-host, who alerted senior executives that Lauer had a “problem with women,” and they should “keep an eye on him.” 

“Ronan Farrow continues his attempt to monetize the MeToo movement, using salacious allegations as promotional trinkets to sell his book. Matt never exposed himself to anyone,” Lauer’s attorney Libby Locke told NBC News. 

Lauer denies all allegations, while NBCUniversal maintains there were no other claims or settlements regarding Lauer.