Laguna Niguel Man Pleads Not Guilty to Raping Woman He Met at a Bar

A 24-year-old Laguna Niguel man pleaded not guilty Friday to raping a woman who had passed out from drinking.

Ryan Austin Rodriguez pleaded not guilty to single felony counts each of sodomy by a controlled substance, rape and rape by use of drugs. Rodriguez, who was being held on $1 million bail, is due back in court Feb. 19 for a pretrial hearing at the Harbor Justice Center.

The victim, a woman in her 20s, had gone out drinking with friends at a bar on Oct. 13 and met the defendant, said Deputy District Attorney Michael Carroll. As the group was leaving, the victim "somehow got separated from her friends with no purse or phone on her, and she walks into the backseat of a car the defendant was sitting in," Carroll said.

Rodriguez's friend, who owned the car, had to leave to pick up his girlfriend, so the defendant and the victim got out and Rodriguez called for a Uber ride to his Laguna Niguel home, Carroll said.

"On the way home in the Uber she vomits all over herself, and the next morning she wakes up to him having sex with her," Carroll said.

The two had never met prior to that night, the prosecutor said.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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