In January of last year, a woman climbed into what she thought was an Uber outside a Hollywood nightclub on a bustling stretch of Cahuenga Boulevard.
But instead of driving her home, authorities allege the man behind the wheel took her to a secluded area and repeatedly sexually assaulted her.
Los Angeles County prosecutors on Tuesday charged Nicolas Morales, 44, with raping seven women while posing as a ride-hailing service driver. Authorities allege he struck across the region, including Alhambra, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, between October 2016 and January 2018.
Authorities said they are dealing with a string of sexual assault cases in which attackers pretend to be drivers to lure women into their vehicles. When customers call for an Uber or Lyft, they might not pay attention to the type of vehicle the service is sending and end up jumping into the first car that pulls over for them, they said.
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