Alfonso Alarcon-Nunez a Mexican Uber driver in the US illegally charged with four rapes as prosecutors fault Uber screening process.
Alfonso Alarcon-Nunez, a 39 year old Mexican man living and working in the US illegally as a California Uber driver has been charged with raping, assaulting and robbing at least four young San Luis Obispo female students.
Upon his arrest, the Santa Maria area based Uber driver was booked with 10 criminal charges, including forcible rape, rape of an intoxicated victim, oral copulation of an intoxicated victim and first degree burglary.
Foxnews reported the Mexican born Uber driver being was arrested at his home in Santa Maria on Wednesday.
San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow said Alarcon-Nunez was not always driving for Uber when he picked up those women while saying that the alleged crimes show that the company should improve its driver screening process.
Prosecutors say Alarcon-Nunez targeted women who were on their way home from parties. After driving them home, investigators say he would assault the women and steal their property — including cell phones and jewelry.
The prosecutor sought $1,475,000 in bail at his arraignment, up from the $200,000 required when Alarcon-Nunez was arrested.
Alfonso Alarcon-Nunez, illegal Santa Maria Uber driver operating under a number of alias’s.
Authorities told KSBY that Alarcon-Nunez would collect payment for the rides through Venmo to disguise his identity and his Uber records. Prosecutors say he has also used the alias ‘Bruno Diaz’ and his Venmo username was ‘Brush Bat.’
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.
Predators in cars parked outside bars or restaurants ‘jump in front of the actual Uber driver and they will take someone unsuspecting to their home. And that’s a way of putting someone at risk, and in this case that’s exactly what’s alleged to have happened,’ Dow said.
Dow urged Uber users to make sure they are getting in the car of the correct driver by verifying the license plate and other information provided to clients.
Told Dow, ‘If those companies are not conducting adequate background checks to make sure that they know the true identity of people who are driving, then those consumers — those of us that use those services — we don’t know for sure whether or not we’re at risk’.
The alleged crimes are said to have occurred in December and January in San Luis Obispo, a city of about 45,000 with a large population of college students.
Of note, Dow told of Alarcon-Nunez driving for Uber in other places, including Santa Barbara, leading investigators to believe there may be additional victims.
Officials say Alarcon-Nunez, originally from Mexico, returned to the U.S. illegally after a voluntary deportation from New Mexico in 2005. Dow did not have details about why he was deported or whether he has a criminal record in the U.S.
At the time of his arrest, Alarcon-Nunez was carrying a 2015 California driver’s license, with authorities unclear how long he’d been in the United States, or when he re-entered the country after he was deported.
Alarcon-Nunez’s immigration status will not have a bearing on the prosecution, Dow said. He could face life in prison if convicted on all charges.
Alarcon-Nunez will appear in court again on Jan. 29 for a preliminary hearing.