A 55-year-old cab driver in Winnipeg has been charged with sexually assaulting a transgender passenger.

Police, who called the suspect a man "working in the capacity of providing local transportation," said the passenger was assaulted around 11:30 p.m. CT on May 15.

The 22-year-old transgender man got into the cab in the area of Broadway and was driven to a secluded area in the 1100 block of Main Street, near Redwood Avenue. Along the way, the driver made inappropriate sexual advances, which were declined, police said.

A short time later, the man was sexually assaulted, police said.

Eventually, he was driven to his requested destination and police were called.

On May 24, the driver, having learned of the police investigation, went to the victim's home and offered money to get the complaint dropped, police said.

The victim declined and reported it to the investigators.

The driver has been charged with sexual assault and attempting to obstruct justice.

He remains in police custody.

Safe ride-sharing group shocked 

There have been numerous stories over the past couple of years about female passengers in Winnipeg being hit on or sexually assaulted by taxi drivers. 

Natasha Soucie is with Ikwe Safe Ride Service, which was created in response to reports of abusive cab drivers.

"I guess it's just mind-boggling. You would think that after all the bad attention they've had, that things would start getting better," Soucie said. 

She said she is encouraged to know that the victim went to the police twice.

"They say when one person stands up for something that's not right, it shows other people that it's not right as well, and it will bring other people forward," she said. "I would say it's very empowering."

Clarifications

  • The original version of this story described the complainant as a woman, based on information from police. The police have since clarified the person is a transgender man.
    May 27, 2016 1:27 PM CT