Baby Hoax Cabbie Surrenders to Cops

Klever Sailiema says he's not guilty of sex assault

A New York cab driver previously involved in a baby-abandonment case surrendered to police in connection with an alleged attempted rape.

Klever Sailema made headlines one year ago when he took a 6-month-old girl to a firehouse in Queens, saying an unknown man left her behind in his car. 

Police later found that Sailema and his girlfriend made up the story.

Now, Sailema is in trouble again. Police said Thursday they were looking for the 46-year-old cabbie on allegations he picked up a 23-year-old woman in Astoria this week, then drove her to an unknown location in Queens and sexually assaulted her.

A spokesman for the Federation of Taxi Drivers says Sailema denies the allegation. Fernando Mateo said he planned to escort Sailema to a Queens police station on Friday. Mateo says Sailema wants to set the record straight.

"This is a cab driver's worst nightmare," Mateo said. "There was no sexual assault."

Mateo explained the woman took Klever Sailema's keys and threw them into the snow. He said a drunk woman fell asleep in his car and when he tried to wake her, she beat him and claimed sexual assault.

A second, unidentified livery cab driver rendered aid to the victim shortly after the incident, police said. That driver is asked to come forward and speak with police.

Mateo said no Good Samaritan cab driver picked her up; she just hailed another cab.

Last year, Sailema was hailed as a hero for dropping off a supposedly abandoned baby at a firehouse. Days later, police said he had plotted with the baby's great-aunt to get rid of her. The baby's mother was a 14-year-old runaway from Maryland.

Those charges, including falsely reporting an incident, were dismissed.

Mateo explained Sailema is very sad that he lied about the abandoned baby girl last year and that he is now scared his credibility is shot.

"Because of that no one is going to believe him," Mateo said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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