Alejandro Done, 47, of Boston, will spend 10 years in prison after he admitted to kidnapping and raping a woman he picked up as a passenger in Boston.
Before being employed by Uber, Done, posed as an Uber employee.
Done lured a woman traveling to Cambridge to his car, and told her she would have to pay in cash. Done drove her to an ATM and then took her to a secluded location where he hit the woman, strangled her, and sexually assaulted her.
Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan believes that Done lurked on women in Cambridge or Somerville, and women should take safety measures when it comes to uber.
“The defendant preyed upon a young woman who trusted that he was who he portrayed himself to be,” said Ryan, according to the Boston Herald. “I encourage the public to take precautions when using any ride-sharing service.”
Uber is a transportation network app that allows users to request a trip that is routed to drivers who use their own vehicles. Its legality has been a controversy, because of its use of drivers who are not licensed to drive taxi cabs.
“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,” Ryan added.
Jason Post, an Uber spokesman, explained that Done passed a background check, and that he is saddened about the event that occured, but is happy he help capture the suspect.
“This was a tragic incident and we were grateful to be able to assist police and prosecutors in identifying the perpetrator,” Post said.
Antonio D. Warren, a 35-year-old Tallahassee man posed as an Uber driver was arrested after attempting to abduct a Tallahassee Community College (TCC) feamle student. He was arrested by the Florida State University Police Department (FSUPD).
Brittany Johnson, a fourth-year animal science student from Miami, FL, expressed her concerns regarding Uber.
“I haven’t used Uber because it doesn’t feel safe,” said Johnson. “I know a few Uber drivers and I wouldn’t want them driving me around. One of my concerns is that something like this can happen to me. I’m not willing to risk my life for a cheap ride.”
Tallahassee is one of the 22 college towns in the country to use Uber services. Students of Florida State University (FSU) and Florida A&M University (FAMU) have recently become users of Uber.
Melanie Mitchell, a fourth-year information technology student from Atlanta, GA, explained her reasoning for using Uber.
“I love Uber because it takes away the pressure of worrying about your car during a night out. It’s like having a hired designated driver.”
According to Entrepreneur.com, the use of Uber has led to a 5.6 percent reduction in DUI-related deaths. However, in the year of 2015, over 27 sexual assault cases have been reported by users of Uber.
Alejandro Done was also linked to a string of sexual assaults in Boston through DNA provided during his arrest. He will serve 10 to 12 years in prison along with an additional five years of probation.