Man suspected in California serial rapes drove for Lyft

ABC News | 7/17/2018 | Staff
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Ride-sharing company Lyft said Tuesday that it's investigating how a former driver now charged in a series of rapes passed a background check even though federal immigration officials say the suspect was living in the country illegally.

The San Francisco district attorney's office charged Orlando Vilchez Lazo, 36, with raping four women while posing as a ride-share driver in San Francisco.

Lyft - Spokeswoman - Kate - Margolis - Company

Lyft spokeswoman Kate Margolis said the company is investigating Lazo's employment history.

She said company officials "have no reason to believe these incidents occurred" while the suspect was on duty.

Margolis - Requests - Timeframe - Suspect - Employment

Margolis didn't respond to requests for the timeframe of the suspect's employment with the company. Company officials told other media outlets Vilchez Lazo was "deactivated" as a Lyft driver last week after his arrest.

Margolis also said it appears Vilchez Lazo "fraudulently represented himself" in applying to drive for Lyft and passing its background check despite his immigration status. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said Tuesday that Vilchez Lazo was living in the United States illegally.

San - Francisco - District - Attorney - Spokesman

San Francisco district attorney spokesman Alex Bastian said investigators are also looking into the suspect's work history with Lyft. Vilchez Lazo was originally charged with impersonating a ride-share driver.

ICE said it plans to deport Vilchez Lazo to his native Peru if he's ever released from custody on the rape case.

Charges - Sentence - Life - Prison - Tuesday

The charges he faces carry a maximum sentence of life in prison. And on Tuesday, a judge revoked bail and ordered Vilchez Lazo to remain jailed while awaiting trial, which hasn't been scheduled.

ICE also said it formally asked the San Francisco Sheriff's Department on Friday to detain Lazo for federal immigration custody in the unlikely event he is ordered released from jail.

Vilchez - Lazo - Week - Allegations - Counts

Vilchez Lazo was arrested last week on multiple allegations, including four counts of felony rape.

Deputy public defender Eric Quandt is expected to be formally appointed to represent...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ABC News
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