18 months for Surrey cabbie who sexually assaulted teen

Driver never denied incident took place but claimed girl offered sexual favours because she couldn't pay fare.

18 months for Surrey cabbie who sexually assaulted teen

A Surrey taxi driver who was convicted of sexually assaulting a teen has been sentenced to 18 months in jail.

Wasim Malik was called to pick up a 17-year-old girl and her friend from a Surrey house party in April 2009. The pair, who had had both been drinking, didn’t have money but a friend in Langley said he’d pay when they got there. When they arrived, however, there was no one at the house and no party.

The girls begged the driver to take them back home to Surrey. He dropped the victim’s friend off in Cloverdale and then took the 17-year-old to his home in the Fraser Heights neighbourhood. She asked to use the washroom and when she came out, Malik was undressed and tried to kiss her and force her to perform oral sex. When she refused, she said Malik said “Please baby, you owe me for the cab.”

The girl eventually squirmed free and ran out of the house to a coffee shop. Her mom came and police were called.

Malik never denied the interaction took place, but said it was consensual and that the teen had offered sexual favours in payment for the cab fare.

The judge, however, did not buy the driver’s story and he was found guilty last October.

In sentencing Malik in New Westminster Supreme Court last month, Justice Murray Blok said the cabbie was in a position of trust in relation to his young passenger.

“She was not only vulnerable because of her youth but also because, as I find, she was still affected by the alcohol she had consumed earlier in the night,” Blok wrote in his reasons for sentencing posted online last week. “She was entitled to expect that she would be transported safely to her destination without the driver taking advantage of her vulnerability.

“All women – all people, for that matter, but women in particular – must be able to feel safe in a taxicab.”

Malik will also serve two years probation following his sentence.

– with files from CTV