Sports

Fake Santa Clarita Rideshare Driver Charged With Rape Of 7 Women

Fake Santa Clarita Rideshare Driver Charged With Rape Of 7 Women

A Canyon Country man who posed as a rideshare driver has been charged with raping seven women throughout Los Angeles County over a span of 15 months, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced Tuesday.

The attacks occurred in cities including Alhambra, Los Angeles, West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, prosecutors said.

Morales was charged with 27 felony crimes, including nine counts of forced oral sex, six counts of rape, six counts of attempted sodomy by force, and four counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object.

He faces up to 300 years in state prison if convicted as charged, said district attorney's office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani in a written statement.

Authorities said Tuesday that Morales is from Santa Clarita, California, which is north of Los Angeles.

One sergeant close to the investigation said Morales used the rideshare company's name as "a pretense" to gain trust.

Morales, who was born in Los Angeles and who lived in South LA during in the mid-90s, is scheduled to be arraigned today in Department 5 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Alhambra Branch.

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The suspect, now believed to be Morales, drove the victim to a secluded location and sexually assaulted her.

Prosecutors are asking that his bail be set at more than $10 million.

Last May, Los Angeles police released a sketch of suspect accused of sexually assaulting a woman who got into his vehicle in Hollywood thinking it was a rideshare service.

Alhambra police reported that they began investigating the case when a woman reported being raped on December 30, 2017, after being picked up by a rideshare driver in Los Angeles. The 27-page criminal complaint includes allegations of knife use and multiple victims.

A member of Morales' family told CBS2 News they would not be commenting on the case.

"We know that the trip from the bar to the apartment complex should have taken a specific amount time, but the trip data indicated that it took a much longer amount of time to complete", Corporal Michele Pihera of the Gwinnett County Police Department told WGCL-TV in December. A public defender was then appointed to represent Morales.


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