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Stib employee who posed as taxi driver jailed for 12 years for rapes

14:05 30/06/2020

A Stib bus driver who posed as a Collecto taxi driver to rape young women in Brussels' university district has been jailed for 12 years.

A Brussels court heard that the 44-year-old man, identified in court as Yassine B, would prowl around the bus stops near the ULB campus after finishing his shift at Delta bus depot.

Still dressed in his Stib uniform, he would target female students returning from parties and, claiming to work for Brussels' official late-night taxi service Collecto, would pick them up in his car and sexually assault them.

Yassine B, a father of two, was found guilty of nine charges of rape, indecent assault and threat between July 2016 and November 2019. He had pleaded guilty to three of the nine cases.

He was described in court as a sexual predator, who always followed the same modus operandi. The judge considered a severe sentence was necessary as he had shown little remorse.

"He stubbornly contests certain elements and tries to discredit the victims by calling one of them a tease," the judge said in his ruling. "These challenges are futile and indicate an absence of empathy towards the victims."

He was also ordered to pay damages totalling €36,250 to two victims and their families who had registered as civil claimants in the case. Brussels public operator Stib will also receive €15,000 for reputational damage caused by the rapist's actions.

Collecto is a co-operation among Brussels official taxi service Taxi Verts, Brussels Mobility and Stib. Users who have a Mobib card go to one of 200 designated pick-up points between the hours of 23.00 and 6.00 to get a ride from a taxi for just €5. Users without a Mobib card pay only €6. Pick-up points are all at Stib bus stops.

Passengers share a ride with other Collecto users going in the same direction. The service was launched in 2008 to augment Stib's Noctis night bus service.

Written by The Bulletin