Sunday, October 18, 2015
A former Boston Ma Uber driver will spend at least 10 years in prison after he admitted he kidnapped and raped a woman he picked up as a passenger in Boston, authorities said.
Alejandro Done, 47, of Boston, pleaded guilty Friday to charges of aggravated rape, kidnapping and assault and battery, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said.
Done lured the woman, who was waiting for an Uber ride, into his car last December. He told her he would need to be paid in cash, and then drove her to an ATM. Afterward, he drove to a location the district attorney said was believed to be in Cambridge or Somerville, where he climbed in the back seat, hit and strangled the woman, and sexually assaulted her.
“The defendant preyed upon a young woman who trusted that he was who he portrayed himself to be,” said Ryan. “I encourage the public to take precautions when using any ride-sharing service. While these apps are a modern convenience, they are not without their risks. Customers should make sure to verify license plates and car make and models before entering any vehicle, and remain active and aware of their surroundings.”
Uber has said Done passed a background check. The company said it helped authorities track him down.
“This was a tragic incident and we were grateful to be able to assist police and prosecutors in identifying the perpetrator,” said Jason Post, an Uber spokesman.
Done also has been linked to a yearslong string of sexual assaults on the Esplanade in Boston, authorities said. He was charged last month in Suffolk County in connection with four assaults dating back to 2006.
Done’s arrest for the December assault provided a DNA match to evidence from the Esplanade assaults, authorities said. Done’s attorney could not be reached for comment.
Several months after Done sexually assaulted the woman in December, another Uber driver allegedly sexually assaulted a passenger in Boston. The victim has filed a civil suit against Uber, claiming the company markets its service to young women, but does not take adequate steps to protect their safety.
Several legislative proposals currently under review at the State House would regulate Uber and Lyft, and center on passenger safety. The bills would require background checks for prospective Uber and Lyft drivers, and require vehicles to display official signs.
Author(s):Jordan Graham / Boston Herald@jordanmgraham