MELBOURNE (Australia) – An Australian taxi driver who was cleared of rape says he was often offered sexual favours as payment, local media is reporting.
Prabhjit Singh Gill (37) was acquitted of raping a 25-year-old, female passenger by a District Court jury in the Western Australian state capital, Perth on Monday, WA Today reports.
During the trial he said that he knew of up to 60 drivers who had been offered sex, and was personally prepositioned “two to three times a month”. He said he had never accepted, but he knew many that did. He added that the practice was becoming more common.
“You drive, you pick up a girl, and they have no money. They offer you [oral sex],” he is quoted as saying.
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Gill’s co-accused, Amrit Pal Singh (32), was convicted of one charge of raping the woman in the back of his taxi in February 2011. The jury heard that the passenger was in a semi-conscious state after a night of drinking at a hen’s or bachelorette party.
According to the Herald Sun, Gill said that two of the biggest taxi providers in Perth were aware of the practice and warned drivers-in-training to say no.
Despite Gill’s acquittal, Nine News reports that the Department of Transport cancelled his taxi license on the grounds that he was not “a fit and proper person”.
Gill said he no longer wanted to be a taxi driver because he feared being accused again, and he is now training to be a dentist.
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