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A Santa Clarita, California, man who posed as a rideshare driver has been charged with raping seven women in a span of 15 months and is believed to have attacked others, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Authorities say Nicolas Morales, 44, lured women into his vehicle, then attacked them while using a knife. In May, the LAPD asked the public to help identify a man posing as a rideshare driver who attacked a woman in December 2016 after picking her up. At the time, the woman said she got into his car because she thought it was the Uber ride she requested. She said he then took her to a secluded location and sexually assaulted her. CBSLA reported that Morales was not a driver for any ridesharing service.
Morales is charged with 27 related felony accounts—nine counts of forcible oral copulation, six counts of rape, five counts of sodomy by use of force and four counts of sexual penetration by foreign object—for assaults that occurred between October 2016 and January 2018. He also faces charges for assault with intent to commit a felony, attempted sodomy by use of force and attempted kidnapping to commit another crime. If found guilty on all counts, Morales could face up to 300 years in prison.
In January, another California man who did drive for Uber was charged with raping, assaulting, and robbing four women on separate occasions while driving them home. Authorities say Alfonso Alarcon-Nunez, 39, both drove for Uber and pretended to be a ride-hailing driver in order to drive women to their homes and assault them.
H/T BuzzFeed News
Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.