VAN NUYS, California (KTLA) – A man who worked as an Uber and Lyft driver has been charged with kidnapping and raping a woman after he picked her up in Van Nuys last fall, officials announced Friday.
Octavio Alvarez Gomez, 38, faces 1 count each of kidnapping to commit rape and rape of an unconscious person, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Gomez allegedly picked up the woman from a pub in Van Nuys after she ordered a ride to take her home on October 2, 2018. Gomez allegedly drove toward the woman’s Van Nuys home, but continued driving and stopped his vehicle in a secluded area where he allegedly raped the victim, officials said.
The victim reported the incident to the Los Angeles Police Department. Detectives eventually identified Gomez as a suspect and began surveilling him before taking him into custody while he was driving for Lyft, officials said.
It's unclear why it took prosecutors so long to charge Gomez. He's scheduled to be arraigned on Friday and bail is requested at $1.1 million. Gomez faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if he's convicted as charged.
LAPD officials had previously asked for the public’s help in identifying any additional victims Gomez may have assaulted.
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