Rideshare Driver Pleads Not Guilty to Kidnapping, Raping Woman

If convicted as charged, the 38-year-old could face a life prison term.

A ride-hailing driver pleaded not guilty on Friday to charges that he kidnapped and raped a Los Angeles woman almost a year ago after picking her up from a bar.

Octavio Alvarez Gomez, 38, is charged with kidnapping to commit rape and rape of an unconscious person, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said.

Gomez -- driving for Lyft -- allegedly picked the woman up from the bar after she ordered a ride to take her home on Oct. 2, 2018, the District Attorney's Office said.

He allegedly failed to drop her off at her requested location, drove some distance, stopped his vehicle in a secluded area and raped her while she was unconscious, according to the District Attorney's Office.

He was arrested Sept. 13 by Los Angeles police, and has remained in custody since then on $1.1 million bail, jail records show. If convicted of the charges, Gomez could face life in prison, the District Attorney's Office said.

Lyft said in a statement that the allegations are terrifying.

"As soon as we received this information we deactivated the driver and assisted law enforcement with their investigation," the company said. "Safety is fundamental to Lyft and we don't take lightly any instances where someone's safety is compromised. We continue to invest heavily in safety and welcome accountability and partnership to best protect our rider and driver community."

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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