Navmeet Kang, Winnipeg Taxi Driver Cleared in Sexual Assault Case

In June, Michelle Hansling filed a report with police against a Unicity taxi driver accusing him of sexually assaulting her in the North End while she was intoxicated.

Last month, Michelle Hanslip shared with CBC News that she had been assaulted, left naked and bruises blocks away from her home on the morning of June 12, after a ride with Unicity Taxi.

Yesterday, Winnipeg police confirmed that the taxi driver driving Hanslip that night has been cleared of all assault charges and wrongdoing. Currently, the investigation is ongoing, and no arrests have occurred.

Unicity taxi driver Navmeet Kang shared that the allegations against him were challenging to endure and hear because those closest to him started questioning him, including friends, family, and passengers.

“It’s every day, every minute it’s right [over] your head. You keep going, ‘What’s going to happen? What’s going to happen’ because nobody’s going to listen to your side of the story,” shared Kang with CBC News.

With the allegations cleared against Kang, he says he feels relief and peace of mind.

Kang has further shared more details of the night in question. He says that Hanslip and another passenger in the taxi were intoxicated but physically alright when he dropped them off at their requested location. Hanslip now says she was travelling with her ex-partner at the time. They had even given him a tip for his services.

According to Unicity Taxi’s records, which include video surveillance and a global positioning system which tracks the duration a taxi stays in one location, nothing happened while Hanslip and her ex-partner were in the vehicle.

Unicity Taxi president, Tarlochan Gill has said that the taxi company’s reputation has also suffered. The company will continue co-operating with the police and local authorities to ensure their passengers’ safety.

“The Winnipeggers who are regularly using our can, it may be their thinking [that] they are not safe in their cabs, but there is a camera. It records audio and video. They are safe,” Gill stated.

Gill has further shared that for the city’s hardworking taxi drivers, their work is their ‘bread and butter’, and their families are dependent on the income they make, and they are dependent on their customer traffic.

Assault victim, Michelle Hanslip is now extending her apologies to Kang for the reputational and emotional damage he endured due to no-fact-based accusations.

After the incident, Michelle Hanslip shared several images on her social media. She hopes someone will come forward with more information about what happened to her. (Michelle Candace/Facebook)

“I don’t know what the truth us, but someone knows. I just wish someone would come forward because all I wanted to do was go home… and I never made it. I am thankful knowing there are cab drivers that can be trusted. My apologies to him [Kang],” shared Hanslip in a statement to CBC News.

In May 2022, the City of Winnipeg introduced a new bylaw to set new rules and codes of conduct for taxi operators and other hire-for-services like ride-sharing and limousine services. Vehicle-for-hire drivers in Winnipeg can now receive a $250 fine for misconduct, even in cases where their actions are not criminal – they can also be reprimanded, required to be re-trained or have their license taken away.