‘It’s not fair’: Winnipeg woman says taxi driver Unicity sexually assaulted her

Warning: some details in the following story can be disturbing

A woman from Winnipeg says she was sexually assaulted by a taxi driver a week and a half ago and was left mostly naked outside a stone’s throw from her home.

Michelle Hanslip said the incident happened early in the morning on Sunday, June 12. Although some of her wounds have healed, she still has cuts and bruises from what happened.

“Instead of keeping it to myself…this is just a form of healing,” she said. “It’s not fair.”

That Saturday night, she said she went to a relative’s house for a gathering and took a Unicity Taxi home with her ex-partner around midnight.

Hanslip said she was drunk. Some details are blurry, but she recalled a moment during the trip when the taxi driver stopped, got out and removed her ex from the vehicle before continuing on.

“I remember that cab driver getting back into his front driver’s seat,” she said. “I don’t know where he took me.”

Michelle Hanslip posted several photos of her injuries and other details on social media after the incident. (Michelle Candace/Facebook)

She says she woke up Sunday at her mother’s house. Injured and unclear as to what happened, she went to the hospital the next day and called the police.

An investigator told her she was found through police blocks from her home with almost no clothes and no phone or wallet, and that she told officers she had been sexually assaulted that morning, Hanslip said.

“I collapsed because it kind of confirmed that what I had been through was true,” she said.

She said police also told her she was found around 2 a.m. — about 90 minutes from when she estimates her ex had been removed from the vehicle. She says she can’t explain everything that happened in between, but she does remember something.

“I specifically remember him [the driver] grabbed me and I walked next to him and went somewhere,” she said. “I don’t know where I was.”

Hanslip said she turned on location tracking in the Google Maps app on her now-missing phone. She had access to that data on her computer and it shows an area near her home where she suspects she was taken.

The Winnipeg Police Department confirmed to CBC News that a sexual assault charge has been filed in connection with the case.

The City of Winnipeg also said it had received a complaint about the incident and will immediately open an investigation.

“The vehicle rental office takes complaints seriously and residents are reminded to contact 311 to report any concerns as all complaints are being investigated,” a city spokesperson said in a statement.

The city said possible disciplinary results under the vehicle for rent statutes include reprimands, retraining, financial fines and license suspensions and cancellations.

Manmohan Gill, Unicity Taxi manager, said the company learned of the incident Thursday and will investigate.

“We’re just trying to figure out exactly what happened,” he said. “Nothing has been proven yet, yet, but if he is found guilty, action will be taken.”

Pending the results of an investigation, the driver is allowed to continue driving, Gill said.

“These incidents should not happen to anyone,” Gill said. “All drivers, like, when they come to the office for training, we tell them straight, like, these things are absolutely not allowed.”

Hanslip says she feels let down by Unicity.

“We shouldn’t feel unsafe, and that’s how I feel now that I know that guy is still driving,” she said.

She hopes her Google Maps location tracking data, the images of the taxi in the vehicle and the test results from her hospital visit will help authorities charge the driver.

Hanslip received support from loved ones who reached out after she posted what had happened on social media. Some women have shared similar stories and she hopes sharing her stories will help others step forward.

“I know it’s happening,” she said. “I don’t feel alone.”

Police investigate after woman says she was sexually assaulted by Winnipeg taxi driver

Michelle Hanslip says a Unicity taxi driver sexually assaulted her while she was drunk and on her way home from a get-together.

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