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Charges: Lyft driver in Minneapolis groped sleeping woman in front seat

It happened after the driver picked her and a friend up from a Minneapolis bar.

A Twin Cities Lyft driver has been charged with groping a woman as he gave her a ride home from a bar.

It's been more than a year since the incident in August 2017, but charges were only filed this week in Hennepin County District Court.

A criminal complaint says 39-year-old Ahmed Tawane Badi, of Burnsville, was driving a man and a woman home from a Minneapolis bar at around 1:20 a.m., when he allegedly slid his fingers under the underwear of a woman who had fallen asleep in the front passenger seat. 

The woman, either 24 or 25 at the time, told police that she awoke to the driver's hand under her underwear, touching her genitals. The criminal complaint says the woman texted her friend in the back seat asking him to call 911. 

A short time later they arrived at their destination in New Brighton. Abdi allegedly instructed the man in the back seat to get out, at which point he drove forward with the victim still in the front seat. 

He then tried to put his hand under the woman's underwear for a second time, at which point she called 911, prompting Abdi to let her out of the vehicle and flee the scene.  

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The victim recorded the Lyft driver's license plate number and provided it to police. 

Investigators collected a DNA sample from the woman's underwear and it was later determined to be a match to Abdi's DNA, which was collected via a warrant. 

In a voluntary interview with police, Abdi denied intentionally touching the woman beneath her underwear and said he may have touched her hips, or perhaps her leg "but said he didn't think his hand went up to her underwear," the complaint states. 

Abdi has been charged with fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.

It's unclear why it took more than a year for charges to be filed. 

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