Lyft driver convicted in 2019 rape of passenger after she left a Huntington Beach bar
A 45-year-old Lyft driver is scheduled to be sentenced in October for raping a woman he was driving home nearly two years ago, according to court records obtained Monday.
Jorge Tapiacastro was convicted July 28 of rape by use of drugs, rape, sexual battery and false imprisonment, all felonies. He is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 1.
The victim was dropped off by her husband at a friend’s home in Costa Mesa on Aug. 31, 2019, where she drank four or five vodka sodas with a handful of friends, according to a trial brief from prosecutors.
About 9:30 p.m. that night she and two of her friends took an Uber ride to the Bungalow bar in Huntington Beach where she drank three to five more vodka sodas, prosecutors said.
About 12:30 a.m., Sept. 1, she used the Lyft app to call for a ride home, prosecutors said. She was picked up about 12:50 a.m. by the defendant, who pulled over about a half mile from her residence in Orange, got out and then got into the backseat with the victim, who said she had passed out, prosecutors said.
The defendant told the woman she was “beautiful” before he forced himself on her for a few minutes, prosecutors said. Then he got out, and she also exited the vehicle before the defendant drove off, prosecutors said.
The woman called her friend and told her she was raped and didn’t know where she was, prosecutors said. Her friend told her to call her husband and she repeated the same to him, prosecutors said.
Her husband managed to find her around La Veta Avenue and Glassell Street and took her home before later taking her to a local hospital, prosecutors said. The woman’s blood-alcohol level was .131, and DNA evidence linked Tapiacastro to the assault, prosecutors said.
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