Uber driver in Orange County charged with raping his passenger

An Uber driver in Orange County has been charged with raping a passenger who was riding home from a work-related event, authorities said.

The alleged rape occurred March 30, when Angel Sanchez, 36, picked up a woman at a company gathering in Newport Beach, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.

The Uber ride was requested by colleagues of the woman, who was under the influence of alcohol at the time, prosecutors said.

Sanchez drove the woman near her home in Santa Ana and sexually assaulted her in his 2016 Toyota Sienna, prosecutors alleged.

The woman fled Sanchez’s vehicle and called 911.

Police arrested Sanchez, a resident of Costa Mesa, on April 1. He was formally charged Tuesday with a felony count of raping an intoxicated victim.

If convicted, Sanchez faces up to eight years in state prison. He is scheduled to be arraigned May 1 in Santa Ana.

Uber spokeswoman Tracey Breeden said the company assisted law enforcement with the investigation.

“Nobody should have to go through what this woman reported to police,” Breeden added.

An attorney for Sanchez could not be reached for comment.

matt.hamilton@latimes.com

Twitter: @MattHjourno

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UPDATES:

5:15 p.m.: This article was updated with comments from Uber spokeswoman Tracey Breeden.

This article was originally published at 4:40 p.m.

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