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Mexican Uber driver illegally in United States charged with four rapes

23 January 2018

The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow is seeking the public's help in finding additional witnesses and possible victims.

The alleged crimes occurred over four weeks starting in mid-December in San Luis Obispo, a city of about 45,000 that is home to California Polytechnic State University. Police "initially didn't realize the four cases were connected", a representative of the San Luis Obispo Country District Attorney's office told The Tribune.

"The investigation ultimately led to evidence that supported charging crimes where he victimized four separate victims, all young females from our county and young college students from our community", Dow said.

The 39-year-old is accused of various charges including forcible rape, rape on an intoxicated victim, oral copulation of an intoxicated victim, first-degree burglary and grand theft.

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Alfonso Alarcon-Nunez drove women to their homes, assaulted them, and stole property including cellphones, computers and jewelry, officials said.

Police said that he used a Venmo app account - under the name "Brush Bat" - to collect his Uber payments in an effort to obfuscate both his identity and his Uber records.

At his Monday arraignment, prosecutors asked for $1.48million in bail - a significant increase from the $200,000 bail asked for at his arrest, reported.

During a Monday press conference on Monday, Dow said that Alarcon-Nunez's alleged victims were between 19 and 22 years old and three were intoxicated when they were assaulted.

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Officials say Alarcon-Nunez, originally from Mexico, returned to the US illegally after a voluntary deportation from New Mexico in 2005.

Dow said that those who choose to use driver services such as Uber and Lyft should take certain steps to protect themselves, including verifying the identity of their driver before getting in the vehicle and added that using a designated driver you know and trust is still the safest way to get home if you plan on drinking. "If those services are not conducting adequate background checks to make sure they know the true identity of people that are driving, then those of us who use those services, we don't know for sure whether we're at risk".

The District Attorney's office warned users of ride-sharing services to make sure the information from the service matches that of the driver and auto that comes for the pickup. Dow did not have details about why he was deported or whether he has a criminal record in the U.S.

Alarcon-Nunez's immigration status will not have a bearing on the prosecution, Dow said. Another reported victim has come forward since Alarcon-Nunez was arrested, Mathews said. His next court date was set for January 29. He could face life in prison if convicted on all charges.

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Mexican Uber driver illegally in United States charged with four rapes