Crime & Courts

Witness doesn't show for Elgin Uber driver's harassment trial

Ahmed Tawfeeq, 29, of Elgin
Ahmed Tawfeeq, 29, of Elgin

Prosecutors on Monday dismissed charges against an Uber driver they say paid a fellow jail inmate to kidnap a woman whom the driver sexually abused and encouraged to become a prostitute.

The case, which was scheduled for a jury trial Monday, instead was dismissed when the state’s main witness, Daniel Flores, didn’t show.

In June 2017, Flores and 29-year-old Ahmed Tawfeeq both were detainees at the McHenry County Jail. According to a motion that prosecutors filed June 28, 2017, Tawfeeq told Flores he “raped” a woman in his Uber cab and needed someone to threaten, kidnap or beat the victim to keep her from testifying.

Flores participated in a taped police interview, where he revealed details of Tawfeeq’s case that only Tawfeeq would have been privy to, according to the June 2017 motion.

Another detainee, Bradley Lamkin, took Tawfeeq up on his offer and agreed to kidnap the Prairie Grove woman in exchange for $6,000 and the posting of his bond, prosecutors said. Lamkin never followed through with the kidnapping and he does not face any charges in connection with the allegations.

Tawfeeq, however, was subsequently charged with conspiracy and harassing a witness. If the case had gone to trial and Tawfeeq was convicted of the most serious charge, harassing a witness, he would have faced between two and five years in prison.

Although the charges were dismissed, Tawfeeq still awaits prison in connection with the original sexual abuse allegations. McHenry County Judge Robert Wilbrandt on Friday sentenced Tawfeeq to five years in prison for attempted aggravated criminal sexual assault and other charges stemming from the June 16, 2017, Uber ride.

He also faces separate misdemeanor charges in Kane County tied to allegations that he doused his wife in gasoline and threatened to set fire to the house while their children were home.

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