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Prosecutor: Boston Uber Driver Used Fake Name, Raped Passenger

A driver displaying Lyft and Uber stickers on his front windshield drops off a passenger in downtown Los Angeles in 2016. (Richard Vogel/AP/File)
A driver displaying Lyft and Uber stickers on his front windshield drops off a passenger in downtown Los Angeles in 2016. (Richard Vogel/AP/File)
This article is more than 3 years old.

A Boston man who drove for ride-hailing company Uber has been charged with raping a female passenger.

Prosecutors say 34-year-old Luis Baez used the fake name "Valentin" when he picked up a woman in Boston last September, drove her to a location other than where she requested and assaulted her. Uber confirmed Baez drove under an account with a false name.

Authorities say Baez then drove the woman to Boston College and dropped her off. She reported the alleged assault to campus police. Prosecutors did not say whether she was a student there.

Police tracked the suspect from information stored in the woman's Uber app. Baez was known to police, according to a release from the Middlesex County district attorney's office.

The suspect was released on $2,500 bail after pleading not guilty to three counts of rape on Tuesday. He was also ordered to stay away from Boston College's campus, the release said.

Uber called the charges "a horrible crime" and said it is cooperating with investigators. The company also said the suspect's Uber account was suspended indefinitely since Sept. 29 when prosecutors say the alleged assault occurred. Baez drove for the ride-hailing service for less than a month prior to that date, according to Uber.

Earlier this month, results for the first round of state background checks for ride-hailing drivers under a law passed in 2016 were released. Of 70,789 drivers who applied through one or more companies, the state denied 8,206 applications.

Since then, hundreds of drivers successfully appealed their denials.

With additional reporting from The Associated Press and WBUR's Lisa Creamer

This article was originally published on April 26, 2017.

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