A jury in Cook County, Chicago, yesterday cleared 55 year-old Fred Batrony, a cabdriver in Evanston, of kidnapping and sexually abusing a young woman in his taxi.
Batrony, who testified that his accuser was drunk when she got in the cab, hugged his attorney and cried when the verdict was announced.
After a night out drinking last summer, the young woman originally claimed Batrony sucked her toes and forced her to spit in his face and rub his body.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the accuser made up the story because she was upset that Batrony insisted she get out of the car.
She was drunk, refused to pay, and he feared she was going to throw up, he said.
“I wouldn’t wish what I’ve just been through on my worst enemy,” he said after the hearing. Batrony said he thinks his accuser is “very sorry — she didn’t know how to get out of this.”
“She pushed a ball downhill and then couldn’t stop it rolling,” he said.
Francis Baumgart, Batrony’s attorney, said the woman kept changing her story and that it wasn’t supported by DNA evidence.
When he was first charged last year, Batrony lost his job and has since begun working with Haitian earthquake relief organizations to reunite orphaned children with their families.