Suspect detained in fake taxi driver rape case

A man was detained on Friday on suspicion of the rape of a 20-year-old student. Last weekend the young woman, who is a student at Brussels’ Francophone Free University put an anonymous post on the social media site Facebook in which she wrote that she had been kidnapped and raped by a Brussels taxi driver. The day after the attack she reported the rape to police and a criminal investigation was launched to trace her attacker. At a press conference held on Friday the Brussels Judicial Authorities said that a man in his forties had been detained on suspicion of sexual assault, rape and armed violence. The man is also suspected of having perpetrated three other sexual offences during the past year.

In the anonymous post the student placed on the social media platform Facebook, she told of how last Saturday night she was picked up by a man that said that he was a taxi driver working for the collective taxi service Collecto. The man then locked her into his taxi and raped her. The young woman reported the rape to the police the following day.

Suspected repeat offender

The Judicial Authorities opened an investigation.  The suspected rapist was traced and detained in the Brussels municipality of Elsene on Friday morning. He is 44 years-old and with the exception of some motoring offences has no previous convictions.

He is suspected of a total of four sexual attacks and is reported to have also used the same ploy (claiming to be a taxi driver working for Collecto) in order to trap his victims. The Judicial Authorities say that the man is not employed as a taxi driver.

On Facebook a number of women reacted to the student’s post by saying that they had had similar experiences in the area near the university. An Examining Magistrate will take charge of the further investigation.