Ohio ‘Safe Ride’ driver charged with rape pleads not guilty

HAMILTON, Ohio — A man accused of sexually assaulting two female college students in Ohio in the vehicle he drove for his “Sherman’s Safe Ride” taxi service has pleaded not guilty to rape and sexual battery charges.

The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reports 38-year-old Sherman Jackson II pleaded not guilty Tuesday in a Butler County court in Hamilton. Police in Oxford say Jackson was arrested after two young women from Miami University filed separate reports alleging they were assaulted by him in his vehicle when they used the taxi service.

The judge lowered Jackson’s bond from $1 million to $65,000 and ordered him not to operate his taxi service.

“My client is presumed innocent,” Defense attorney Chris Pagan said in court, the Journal-News reported. “He has not only a constitutional right to bond, but a right to reasonable bond.”

Pagan declined to comment after the arraignment.

According to the Journal-News, the first alleged victim called for help on Dec. 8th reporting she had been assaulted.

“Let me out, let me out,” she screamed during one of three calls to 911.

“He was supposed to drop me off at home,” the woman cried on the phone. “As soon as I got in the cab, he said he was going to take me to McDonald’s. I said, ‘No. I want to go home.'”

The second alleged victim reported being assaulted the following day between 1:30 and 4 a.m., a police report noted, according to the Journal-News.

Jackson owns and operates the taxi service in Oxford, about 40 miles north of Cincinnati.