An Uber driver kidnapped a 15-year-old after picking her up at a Sweet 16 party in Atlantic Beach by trying to take her to his Brooklyn home to sexually assault her before she escaped and called police, prosecutors said Thursday.
Sean Williams, 32, is facing up to 25 years in prison if found guilty of the top count of an indictment charging him with two felony kidnapping counts and misdemeanor charges of child endangerment and unlawful imprisonment.
Court records show Williams pleaded not guilty at an arraignment Tuesday in Nassau County Court. Acting state Supreme Court Justice Felice Muraca kept Williams' bond at $150,000, and he remains free while awaiting trial.
Nassau police arrested Williams outside his home on July 16 after an investigation, authorities said.
The Nassau district attorney's office has alleged Williams picked up the victim about 11:15 p.m. on July 12 and was supposed to drive her to Merrick. Instead, he canceled the route in Long Beach while she was a passenger in his vehicle and tried to persuade her to go drinking with him, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors claim Williams wanted the 15-year-old to go to his home in Brooklyn where he intended to sexually assault her. But she told him repeatedly she was only 15 and asked Williams multiple times to take her home as he drove in the wrong direction, according to the district attorney's office.
The teenager convinced Williams once they were in Brooklyn that she needed to use a bathroom and he pulled over before she ran into a McDonald's on Linden Boulevard and called police, authorities said.
Williams followed her into the fast-food restaurant, but ran away before police got to the scene, according to prosecutors.
"This girl was terrorized by the defendant's alleged behavior and bravely took action to contact police and free herself," Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement.
But Williams' defense attorney, Steven Gaitman, said his client is "distraught" about the allegations and is "adamantly denying the charges."
Gaitman said the teenager had her cellphone with her during the entire ride and his client took her to the nearest bathroom as soon as she made a request.
Williams, who also does real estate work, is the father of a 4-year-old daughter and a Brooklyn native who attended Erasmus Hall High School before going to trade school, according to the defense attorney.
He had been driving for Uber for about six months, Gaitman said.
"What has been reported is deeply alarming and the driver's access to the app has been removed. We stand ready to cooperate with law enforcement," an Uber spokeswoman said Thursday in an emailed statement.
Williams is due in court again next month.