Uber driver Darnell K. Booth is accused of raping a 16-year-old Everett girl last month.
MALDEN — An Uber driver faces a rape charge after assaulting a 16-year-old Everett girl he met while driving for the company despite what authorities said was a long criminal history.
The driver, 34-year-old Darnell K. Booth, pleaded not guilty in Malden District Court Thursday and is being held without bail until a dangerousness hearing Monday. Police say Booth sexually assaulted the teen July 5, after meeting her through Uber a week earlier.
Assistant District Attorney Carrie A. Spiros called Booth’s criminal record extensive, “with multiple convictions for violent offenses,” but Booth’s lawyer disputed that description — saying that it was mostly misdemeanors and dismissals and that he had been charged just once with sexual assault.
Jo Stringer, Booth’s lawyer, challenged the teenager’s account and said Booth “adamantly asserts” his innocence. Booth, who has lived in Dorchester and Lowell, according to records, appeared to collapse at at the beginning of the hearing and could be heard sobbing from behind the wood paneling of the prisoner dock.
An Uber spokeswoman called the rape allegation “deeply upsetting” and said the company is cooperating with law enforcement. She said by e-mail that Booth, who drove for Uber from February until early July, has been “permanently banned from using the app.”