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Pandering charge follows Louisiana cabbie’s passenger encounter

Evidence is vital when a defendant's word is challenged by someone else's version of events. Only one account is true, but which person will a Louisiana court believe? Criminal defense attorneys work to undo the damage following a sex offense charge.

A New Orleans cabbie was arrested after a female passenger accused the man of trying to get her to perform a sexual act. The alleged victim told authorities the taxi driver took advantage of her because the woman didn't have enough money. The woman claimed she made a deal with the driver to take her halfway to Lacombe from the French Quarter for $20 -- all the money she had.

According to the accuser, the taxi driver then offered to take the woman all the way to Lacombe in exchange for sex, which the passenger apparently refused. The driver pulled over and stopped alongside Interstate 510. The woman claimed the cabbie then gave the passenger $80 to perform a sex act.

The passenger told authorities the driver followed her after the woman took the money and left the cab. A scuffle reportedly ensued during which the Yellow Cab driver took back his cash and drove off, leaving the passenger behind on the highway.

The attorney for the 21-year-old cabbie said his client didn't know immediately the woman had insufficient funds to pay the full fare. The driver pulled over only after learning the passenger couldn't pay. The dilemma was explained to a state trooper, who stopped behind the parked taxi.

The defendant was taken into custody after it was learned the man had an outstanding parking ticket. The defense attorney claimed the woman was intoxicated and untruthful. The driver was released on bail after being charged with extortion, simple battery, theft and pandering.

Sexual misconduct claims frequently come down to verbal conflicts. Defense attorneys know how to respond when false claims threaten a defendant's future.

Source: The Times-Picayune, "Bond set for cabbie accused by NOPD of seeking 'sex act' from passenger" Jonathan Bullington, Dec. 30, 2014

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