FORT LAUDERDALE(CBSMiami) – A 23-year-old Fort Lauderdale woman said she was threatened with Mace and a handheld stun gun and sexually assaulted by a taxicab driver who she had known for a year.READ MORE: Miami Police Searching For Man In Car Dealership Arson Attack
Now that driver, 61-year-old Ronald G. Smith, is charged with sexual assault, kidnapping and false imprisonment and is being held without bond.
The victim said Tuesday she never wants to see a taxicab or a taxicab driver again.
“He was like a very close family member who would drive me to my house and ask for money. We would help him. It hurts me a lot. I never thought this would happen to me,” said the victim, who identified herself as Olga. CBS4 did not show all of her face in order to protect her identity.
Olga told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that she wanted to speak out about the taxicab driver because she had trusted him and was disappointed by his actions and is devastated by this experience.
“He should be punished and they should leave him in jail so that he could pay,” said Olga as she fought back tears. “He should not have done that. He should have never done that. He could be my grandfather.”
Olga said she called Smith on his cell phone on Saturday and he picked her up in his Intercity Taxi.
“I had gone to my lawyer’s office,” she said. “My cousin took me. Then I called for the taxi driver.”
“When he picked me up I saw he was taking me in another direction,” she said. “I said, hey, where are you taking me? I said I needed to get to my house. My family is waiting for me.”
“I said my friend hurry up and he said calm down. He says I’m just going to run an errand and I kept on insisting that he had to take me home,” she said.
Olga says Smith took her to Luck’s Inn at 240 West Oakland Park Boulevard in Wilton Manors and he first told her to stay in the car while he was “running an errand.” An arrest report says Smith appeared to go in the office to rent a room.
“When he came back, he said get out of the car and I said I don’t want to get out of the car,” she said. “He said if you don’t get out of the car now, I will Mace you and I wouldn’t be able to see anything.”
She said Smith also threatened her with a handheld stun gun.READ MORE: Miami Heat Host Free COVID Vaccination Event At FTX Arena, Urge First Responders To Get A Shot
“He said follow me,” she said. “He said you better follow me because no one is going to help you. I had to do what he told me.”
She said he forced her to perform various sex acts and assaulted her inside a room at the motel.
“He told me don’t tell the police or anything or you will be deported back to Guatemala,” she said. Olga said she came to the U.S. from Guatemala seven years ago and currently works as a maid “cleaning rooms for cash.”
Olga said Smith dropped her off at a hospital. She was able to take his picture on a cell phone. Police were called after she was dropped off at the hospital and before she was taken to the Sexual Assault Treatment Center in Fort Lauderdale.
A police report said Smith was arrested at work at Intercity Taxi at 1255 North Flagler Drive in Fort Lauderdale.
In bond court on Monday, Judge John Hurley noted of Smith from the police report, “He allegedly sexually molested her in a motel room.”
Smith’s Assistant Public Defender David Miller spoke in his defense, saying “He alleged in his statement to police that it was consensual. She says not. It’s up to a jury to decide.”
When Judge Hurley asked Miller about the Mace that Smith reportedly had with him, Miller said it was not unusual for people such as taxicab drivers to have Mace for protection, adding that “post office employees carry mace.”
Judge Hurley held Smith without bond. It was discovered in court that Smith had been arrested once before in 1999 for allegedly soliciting a prostitute.
Robert Bonner, the owner of Intercity Taxi, said he did not want to comment on camera and could not say if Smith would be suspended or fired.
But he released a statement saying, “The nature of the charges are very concerning to us. We are continuing to cooperate fully with law enforcement.”MORE NEWS: Florida Woman Records Close Encounter With Alligator While Paddleboarding
“It really hurts me a lot because I had trusted him,” said Olga. “He was a great man. I never thought he would abuse me.”