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India Sentences Uber Driver to Life in Prison for Rape

FILE - Shiv Kumar Yadav, 32 (c) a driver from the international taxi-booking service Uber, is surrounded by police as he is brought out after being produced in a court in New Delhi, India, Dec. 8, 2014.

A court in India has ordered a life sentence for a man convicted of raping a passenger while driving for the mobile ride-sharing company Uber.

The sentence for Shiv Kumar Yadav was the maximum he was eligible to receive after being convicted last month on charges that also included criminal intimidation, kidnapping and endangering the woman's life.

The woman had hired Yadav to take her home after a dinner with friends last December, and she said he raped her after she fell asleep in the car.

The attack sparked angry protests over the constant threat of sexual violence faced by Indian women, highlighted by the death of a young female student who was brutally gang raped while riding a bus in 2012.

The U.S.-based Uber has also faced a backlash in India. The government in New Delhi accused the company of failing to conduct background checks on its drivers and banned the company from operating, but later allowed it to resume service.

Uber has become a popular option for commuters in hundreds of cities around the world, touting itself as a safe option for door-to-door car service, in part because of its cashless mobile payment system. But it has come under fire for hiring unlicensed taxi drivers, undercutting regulated taxi services and putting passengers at risk.