A 25-year-old married woman was allegedly kidnapped and raped by an auto-rickshaw driver in a forest area in Ulhasnagar town in the district, police said on Wednesday.
The incident took place in the wee hours on Tuesday, police said.
According to police, the woman, a resident of Raite village near Kalyan in Thane district, and the 30-year-old accused- Mukesh- a resident of Nevali near Kalyan, knew each other.
On Monday night, when the woman was on her way to a jewellery shop in Ulhasnagar, the accused came in his auto and offered to give her a treat and took her to a hotel, police said.
"After reaching the hotel, the victim refused to eat or drink anything and told him not to harass her. The man asked her if she would accompany him to Shirdi town. However, the woman refused to go with him," an officer of Ulhasnagar police station said.
Thereafter, the man told the woman that he would drop her home in his rickshaw. However, instead of driving her home on their way back, he took the vehicle to a forest area where he sexually assaulted her.
"After committing the crime, Mukesh drove her to Sapegaon in the district and forced her to get down. He threatened the victim of dire consequences if she revealed the matter to anyone," the police officer said.
The woman managed to reach home hours later and thereafter lodged a police complaint.
Senior inspector of Ulhasnagar police station, D D Palve said the accused has been booked under IPC sections 363 (kidnapping), 376 (rape), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation).
He is yet to be arrested, the officer said.