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Woman Says Cabbie Drugged & Assaulted Her

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (CN) - A woman who wanted a ride to a concert claims in court that her cabdriver drugged and sexually assaulted her.

The woman, W, says she called Riverbend Taxi on Jan. 27, 2007, for a ride to a concert at the Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo., from her home in Collinsville, Ill., about a 50-mile drive.

She claims driver Robert Wheeler drove her to an unknown location near St. Louis.

W. claims: "That plaintiff questioned why she was not being driven to the concert, and defendant Wheeler falsely told her that the concert was over and there was no need to drive her to the concert.

"That defendant Wheeler ultimately stopped the taxi as [sic] a bar believed to be in Saint Louis, and plaintiff exited the taxi, went into the bar and called for a ride to take her home.

"That while waiting for a ride home, plaintiff ordered a drink from the bar.

"That shortly after consuming the drink plaintiff lost consciousness. It was later determined that the drink probably contained Rohypnol, which was found in plaintiff's system after the fact.

"That when plaintiff awoke, she was at home in Collinsville, in a state of undress, in the presence of defendant Wheeler, who had touched plaintiff in a highly offensive and harmful manner, without the consent or permission of plaintiff."

The complaint was filed after the statute of limitations, but W said that should not apply to this case.

She claims: "That the statute of limitations should be tolled against defendant Riverbend because, due to the plaintiff's injuries, she was physically and emotionally unable to file this action until recently, including but not limited to being in a catatonic state for long periods of time, repressing memories of the event and due to the intimidation of defendant Wheeler."

W. seeks actual and punitive damages for violations of the Illinois Gender Violence Act. She is represented by Thomas Maag of Wood River, Ill.

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