Officials Reveal Uber Driver Accused of Rape is Undocumented, Urge More Victims to Come Forward
San Luis Obispo's District Attorney held a press conference to discuss the details of the Uber driver accused of raping and burglarizing passengers and look for potentially more victims.
Registered Uber driver and Santa Maria resident, 39-year-old Alfonso Alarcon-Nunez, was arrested after police served a search warrant of his residence on January 17. Alarcon-Nunez was identified as a suspect in now four separate sexual assault and burglary cases between December 18th, 2017 and January 14th, 2018. He is now charged with 10 felonies that include rape of an intoxicated victim, first-degree felony burglary, and grand theft.
On Monday, San Luis Obispo District Attorney Dan Dow held a press conference with law enforcement partner agencies, highlighting the development of the case, information on the defendant, as well as the charges filed. Officials are also seeking the public’s help in finding additional witnesses and possible victims as he is believed to have driven in the City as Santa Barbara as early as September of 2017.
Dow stated there are seven different active investigations being worked on where Alarcon-Nunez is the suspect, who also used the alias Bruno Diaz. Currently, the four victims are young college women in the San Luis Obispo area.
Dow also stated the Department of Homeland Security (ICE) had reported that Alarcon-Nunez is an undocumented immigrant and citizen of Mexico. He was deported voluntarily in 2005 from New Mexico, but it is unclear why. Dow stated the County of San Luis Obispo would prosecute this case and not turn it over to ICE.
During the press conference, a reporter asked why Alarcon-Nunez' immigration status was relevant. Dow responded stating that consumers should be able to trust companies, such as Uber, to provide a safe service. "I think it's absolutely relevant as to whether or not someone is here with proper lawful documentation in terms of that analysis of security, at least then the employer, or the contractor if you will, Uber, that company, would have an opportunity to look further into their background and make sure that any drivers using their service are not any kind of unreasonable risk."
The reporter inside the press conference followed up, "So are you saying that undocumented people pose unreasonable risks?"
"No, I'm just saying it's one factor that should be known. I believe when someone is given the opportunity to provide a professional service of driving, where other people as I said are trusting on them to get them home safely, when they probably in many cases cant get home safely on their own, so I think its one important factor to be considered in a hiring process," said Dow.
Below is the full video of the press conference:
Detectives learned that Alarcon-Nunez is employed as an Uber driver and had provided service in both San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties. The investigation revealed he was targeting intoxicated females and escorting them into their residence where he would then sexually assault them. It is believed he stole items of property from the victims including cellular phones, computers, and jewelry. Detectives believe Alarcon-Nunez would search for parties in San Luis Obispo and solicit rides as an Uber driver. The investigation revealed Alarconnunez would collect payment through a Venmo pay service to disguise his identity and his Uber records.
On Monday, Alarcon-Nunez appeared in Department 3 for his arraignment, entering not-guilty pleas for all charges. He remains in custody with bail set at $1,470,000. The next court date is scheduled for 01/29/2018 in Department 7.
Officials are asking anyone with information to contact 805-549-7687. They also issued a warning for those using "for-hire" driving services to be wary and to use a designated driver instead.
January 20, 2018 - Uber Driver Arrested for Raping Passengers