A California Uber driver has been charged with raping, assaulting, and robbing four women on separate occasions while driving them home.
According to the Associated Press, 39-year-old Alfonso Alarcon-Nunez either picked up the women using the Uber app or by “pretending” to be the ride-sharing cars they had ordered, then allegedly drove them to their homes, assaulted them, and stole their personal property, such as cellphones, computers, and jewelry. Alarcon-Nunez, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, faces 10 criminal charges.
The assaults and robberies Alarcon-Nunez has been charged for took place over the course of four weeks, starting in mid-December, in San Luis Obispo, California, according to officials. The women were between the ages 19 and 22, and three of the survivors were reportedly incapacitated at the time of the attacks.
Alarcon-Nunez had used the money-sending and receiving app Venmo to disguise his identity and Uber records, officials said, using the name “Bruno Diaz” and username “Brush Bat” on his Venmo and Uber accounts. Using DNA evidence, detectives determined Alarcon-Nunez was behind the assaults and arrested him on Jan. 17, District Attorney Dan Dow said at a press conference. Detectives are still in the process of finding additional victims and possible eye-witnesses.
Officials said Alarcon-Nunez wasn’t actively driving for Uber during all of the crimes, sometimes cutting in front of cars to pick up women who thought they were getting into the car they had ordered. According to AP, Alarcon-Nunez entered the U.S. again after voluntarily deporting from New Mexico in 2005, and has had a driver’s license since 2015—in California, undocumented immigrants can obtain drivers licenses with eligible proof of identification and residency.
Dow told reporters that Alarcon-Nunez’s immigration status will not have an effect on the prosecution. Alarcon-Nunez has pleaded not guilty to all charges and is being held in San Luis Obispo County Jail on $1.47 million bail. His next court date is scheduled for Jan. 29.
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