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Female Uber Driver Sexually Abused By Drunken Florida Man, Prosecutors Say

By Erica Demarest | April 25, 2016 12:24pm
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COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A Florida man sexually attacked a female Uber driver on the Northwest Side early Sunday, prosecutors said.

Matthew Holowinski, 46, is accused of exposing his penis to the driver, offering her $100 to fondle him and groping her breasts from the back seat while she drove.

Holowinski was at Play Book Ultra Sports Bar in northwest suburban Niles when he hailed a ride using the Uber app about 4:15 a.m. Sunday, Assistant State's Attorney April Gonzales said during a bond hearing Monday.

According to an arrest report, bar employees took Holowinski's car keys and refused to let him drive because he was "highly intoxicated."

When the 33-year-old Uber driver arrived, prosecutors said, Holowinski got in the back seat and asked to be brought to his hotel in suburban Schaumburg.

As the driver pulled onto the Kennedy westbound ramp, Holowinski pulled down his pants and told the driver she should help him relax by looking at his penis, Gonzales said.

Holowinski then tried multiple times to grab the woman's right hand and force her to touch his penis, according to prosecutors. Gonzales said Holowinski offered the woman $100 to fondle him.

At that point, Holowinski positioned himself in the backseat so that he was sitting right behind the driver, prosecutors said. He's accused of reaching his left hand over the seat and groping the woman's breasts under her shirt for the entirety of the ride, which lasted about 20-30 minutes.

Gonzales said the victim was "paralyzed with fear" and couldn't pull over her car because ongoing construction blocked the expressway's shoulder.

According to an arrest report, "the victim repeatedly said NO to all of Holowinski's advances."

Once the pair arrived at Holowinski's hotel, he allegedly asked the driver to come up to his room. She refused and immediately contacted Uber for help when Holowinski got out of the car, prosecutors said.

According to Gonzales, Holowinski left his ID and wallet in the victim's car. Uber told the driver to take Holowinski's belongings to the nearest police station, Gonzales said.

Illinois State Police handled the investigation, court records show, and Holowinski was arrested on the Northwest Side about 11 p.m. Sunday.

He is charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse that threatens a victim's life.

According to his public defender, Holowinski lives in Florida, where he owns a rental business for RVs and campers. He has a 14-year-old daughter.

Cook County Judge Peggy Chiampas on Monday ordered Holowinski held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

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