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{STREETZMORNINGTAKEOVER} Lyft Driver Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison

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Justice have been served!

A former Lyft driver convicted of raping an intoxicated customer in Cobb County two years ago was sentenced Tuesday to 35 years in prison.

Jerome Antonio Booze, 39, of Decatur, was found guilty of raping a Smyrna woman he was giving a ride home in December 2016.

During the sentencing, Judge Ann Harris said the evidence was clear that the victim was incapable of consenting to sex. “Sir, she was vulnerable and she was at your mercy,” Harris said. “You decided you were going to have sex with her, and that is rape.”

The attack happened in the backseat of Booze’s car at the woman’s apartment complex in Vinings, Cobb County District Attorney spokeswoman Kim Isaza said.

The woman was a “severely intoxicated college student” who had been celebrating a friend’s 21st birthday at the Anchor Bar in northeast Atlanta.

The woman’s friends called a Lyft for her and helped her into it about 4 a.m. because she was “obviously intoxicated and they wanted to continue celebrating,” Isaza said. Booze was supposed to take her home. Instead, he drove her to a parking lot and sexually assaulted her.

When he was interviewed by Cobb police, Booze’s story changed from first denying any sexual relations with a passenger to admitting they had sex, but insisting she initiated it and he didn’t know she was intoxicated, officials said.

After his time in prison, Booze will serve life on probation as a registered sex offender.

 

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