- By Julius Whigham II Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
A suburban Boca Raton man is accused of sexual battery on a woman he picked up in 2017 as a fare for the ride-sharing service Uber, according to Boynton Beach police.
City police arrested Aleksey Gafanovich on Thursday after recently tested DNA linked him to the February 2017 incident, according to a police arrest report. He remained in custody at the Palm Beach County Jail on Friday after a judge set his bail at $250,000.
On Saturday, a spokeswoman for Uber released a statement saying that Gafanovich is no longer affiliated with the ride-sharing service.
“What’s been detailed in this report is terrible and something no one should have to experience,” the statement said. “This driver does not have access to the app and we’ll work with law enforcement to assist with their investigation. “
Gafanovich’s accuser told police she called for a ride after going out with friends to celebrate her 21st birthday. Somewhere along Federal Highway in Boynton Beach, Gafanovich asked the woman if he could stop and smoke a cigarette, the report said.
The woman agreed and also stepped out of the vehicle to smoke. When they got back into the vehicle, Gafanovich allegedly touched the woman in an inappropriate manner, the police report said.
The woman sought medical attention after eventually reaching her destination.
Police questioned Gafanovich, who denied the allegation. Testing conducted last month indicated that Gafanovich’s DNA was a likely match, the report said.