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Rape Charges Dropped Against Uber Driver After Recording Surfaces

Prosecutors dropped sexual assault charges against Maxime Fohounhedo Monday after a nine-minute recording of the incident in Chicago raised questions about the encounter.

Last updated on April 7, 2015, at 6:43 p.m. ET

Posted on April 7, 2015, at 6:43 p.m. ET

Chicago Police Department / WBBM-TV / Via

Charges against an Uber driver accused of raping a passenger in Chicago were dropped Monday after an audio recording surfaced in his trial, officials said.

The recording captures the driver, Maxime Fohounhedo, engaged in what seems like a friendly conversation with the female passenger, Fohounhedo's attorney, Shady Yassin told the Chicago Tribune.

The woman had previously told authorities she lapsed in and out of consciousness after she was picked up by Fohounhedo from a bar. Fohounhedo was accused of sexually assaulting her during the ride, and that the woman woke up at a residence with Fohounhedo on top of her.

But the Cook County State's Attorney's Office dropped the charges Monday after the nine-minute recording showed the encounter was consensual, officials from the state's attorney's office confirmed to BuzzFeed News.

The recording was captured on Fohounhedo's phone.

"At the end, she gives him a big hug and a big kiss," Yassin told the Chicago Tribune. "That's not somebody who's in fear of her life."

Fohounhedo, who had been in custody since December, was also released Monday, said Steve Campbell, a spokesman for the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.

The 30-year-old man was born in Benin and had lived in Chicago for three years. Officials said he was using his wife's Uber account to pick up passengers.

Campbell said prosecutors have no plans to investigate or file any charges against the passenger regarding filing a false report.