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‘Ruthless’ serial rapist who posed as Uber driver sentenced to 41 years

A serial rapist who posed as an Uber driver to abduct and rape women was sentenced to at least 41 years in prison Tuesday — as his victims bravely faced him in court.

Christian Burks, of Ohio, pleaded guilty to raping five women in Cleveland between October 2017 and May 2020, including two he assaulted after pretending to be an Uber driver, according to Cleveland.com.

Some of his victims took turns addressing him in court.

“I hope you are haunted by my limp body lying in the backseat of your car. I hope you never live another day without the soul-crushing weight of me on your mind,” one of the victims told him, the outlet reported. “I am not weak. I am not defenseless. I am not an object for you to use at your disposal. I will not be haunted by the thought of you.”

Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Joan Synenberg called Burks — who preyed on his victims outside restaurants in the city’s downtown — “cunning” and “ruthless” during the sentencing, saying he targeted women who had been trying to get home safely by taking Ubers.

“There is not one thing that the victims did where they bear responsibility for what happened to them,” Synenberg said Tuesday, Cleveland.com reported. “I hope they can free themselves of any space you occupy in their heads.”

Another victim who thought she was getting into an Uber when Burks assaulted her also spoke — but wasn’t able to look at him in court.

Christian Burks allegedly faked being an Uber driver and raped five female passengers in separate instances.
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File

“I know there are many more men, and many more people, who have bad intentions that I cannot save them from,” she said, Cleveland.com reported. “But I can stand up here and tell you today that the world is a less safe and more dangerous place for all of these young women when this man is allowed freedom.”

A third victim sobbed on the stand during her testimony and said the attack haunts her every day: “I never would have thought my life would have gotten here. I was tricked into believing someone was what they weren’t,” she said.

Burks, a father of four, also pleaded guilty to four counts of kidnapping, two counts of abduction, one count of theft, and one count of domestic violence.

He had been staring down a maximum sentence of more than a century.

File source

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