OXFORD, Ohio – A taxi driver acknowledged that he knew two Miami University students were intoxicated when he forcibly performed sex acts on them in his cab, according to Oxford police reports.
Both women, 21, accused Sherman W. Jackson II, 38, the owner/operator of Sherman's Safe Ride taxi service, of assaulting them after they called for a ride home on separate nights last weekend.
The students said they were drunk and tried to escape but couldn’t, according to complaints signed by police.
In one case, Jackson locked the doors and refused her pleas to let her out, the victim said. She called 911 on her cell phone, and Jackson took her phone from her.
In the other case, the victim said she told Jackson she was so drunk she thought she would throw up, but Jackson assaulted her anyway. Jackson prevented her from escaping and told her they were not at her apartment complex, where she had asked to be taken, the complaint says.
Jackson is charged with two counts of rape and two counts of kidnapping. Jackson, listed as 5 feet, 8 inches and 200 pounds, was not armed with a weapon, according to the police reports.
Although it’s finals week, the rape cases have caught everyone’s attention and shaken the sense of security.
“It's a huge talk on campus. Everyone's texting about it,” said Dylan Camerik.
Jackson is a familiar guy around Oxford – one of the victims said she knew him - and that makes it even more shocking," said Jennifer Burns.
“It's so common in the news now to hear about assaults like this, but to have it come from someone who's around here and someone people really trust has shocked everybody,” Burns said.
Camerik said she has used Jackson’s taxi service - one of her roommates recommended it - but Camerik said she always had a female driver.
“The company has a lot of drivers and she was always very nice, and talkative and did her job well," Camerik said.
“With how popular Uber is now, everyone trusts that company - and to have someone that's supposed to be kind of a family name around here that someone trusts - it really makes you think about the services people are using now,” Burns said.
“My mom even texted me to never use that company again,” Camerik said.
The first victim said Jackson picked her up about 12:30 a.m. on Dec. 8 in the 200 block of S. Main and stopped the cab in the 100 block of West Collins, where he assaulted her.
The second victim said she got into Jackson’s cab in the 100 block of E. High St. about 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 9. She said Jackson drove to a parking lot in the 700 block of South Poplar, where the assault took place
Police said they went to impound Jackson’s 2001 Chevrolet Suburban on Dec. 10 and that’s when he agreed to talk to them, admitted the assaults and was arrested.
Jackson is being held in the Butler County Jail on $1 million bond.