Local taxi driver sentenced to jail
A former Whitehorse cab driver has been sentenced to 28 months in jail for sexually assaulting a passenger in late 2011. Rodrigo Torres was sentenced Thursday morning in territorial court.
A former Whitehorse cab driver has been sentenced to 28 months in jail for sexually assaulting a passenger in late 2011.
Rodrigo Torres was sentenced Thursday morning in territorial court.
The 41-year-old Mexican citizen, in the territory on a work permit, was convicted of sexual assault following a trial in October 2012.
He will be deported after he has served his time.
A judge found that Torres assaulted the intoxicated 23-year-old woman in December 2011 after she’d called for a cab following a night of drinking.
Torres drove into a bus turn-around, parked the vehicle and assaulted her, the court heard.
The woman, who cannot be identified under a court order, testified that she had blocked out much of what happened but that she is certain she did not want it to happen.
Torres insists the sex was consensual.
In his sentencing, Judge Michael Cozens said women have an expectation that they will be transported safely when they call a taxi company.
In Whitehorse, where the weather is cold and public transportation is limited, taxis are common, and people are encouraged to take them whenever necessary.
The drivers are in a position of trust, Cozens said.
Torres, who is originally from Puerto Vallarta, has family in both Mexico and Whitehorse.
He has no previous criminal record.
At a sentencing hearing in December, much of the time focused on whether Torres would be forced out of the country after he serves his time.
A sentence of less than two years would have given Torres a chance to appeal his deportation with immigration officials.
If someone is sentenced to two years or longer, that appeal is not an option.
With credit for the time he has already spent behind bars, Torres has about 22 months left on his sentence.