Nova Scotia

Sexual assault charges laid against Halifax cabbie

A Halifax taxi driver has been charged with sexually assaulting a female passenger this weekend.

A Halifax taxi driver has been charged with sexually assaulting a female passenger this weekend.

It's the third time in less than a year that Halifax Regional Police have charged a taxi driver with taking advantage of a young woman who was trying to get home safely.

John Norris, 51, appeared in Halifax provincial court Monday on charges of sexual assault and unlawful confinement of a 21-year-old woman.

"It's alleged that on the way home, the cab driver touched her in a manner that would be described as for a sexual purpose," Halifax police spokesman Const. Brian Palmeter said Monday.

The incident started in downtown Halifax shortly after 6 p.m. Saturday, he said. The woman got into a Casino taxi, the alleged assault took place, and then she called the police.

"The complainant was able to provide information that was crucial to us identifying who the driver was and that obviously led to the arrest and the charges," Palmeter said.

Details about the alleged assault are under a court ordered publication ban.

The judge released Norris with conditions. He's still allowed to operate a taxi, but he can't accept a fare from a woman who wants to take a cab alone.

The operations manager for Casino said the driver is off duty until he hears more about the case.

Police are advising passengers to be careful when they get in a taxi.

"When they get into a cab, make sure they take note of the company and the roof light number, as well the make and model of car, and any description you can of the driver," Palmeter said.

"And, obviously, we do still suggest that you get into the backseat, out of hands reach from the driver."

Norris is scheduled to be back in court to enter a plea on May 18.

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