Uber Driver Charged With Rape of Female Passenger in Santa Ana

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Angel Sanchez is seen in a photo released by the Santa Ana Police Department on April 2, 2017.

An Uber driver was charged with rape after allegedly sexually assaulting a female passenger in Santa Ana, according to an Orange County District Attorney’s office press release issued on Wednesday.

Angel Sanchez, 36, was charged with one felony count of rape of an intoxicated victim.

Sanchez allegedly picked up the victim from a company gathering in Newport Beach after her colleagues requested an Uber ride to her home in Santa Ana on March 30, according to the DA.

The woman fell asleep during the ride and woke up to Sanchez allegedly sexually assaulting her in the back of his 2016 gray Toyota Sienna on a street near her home, Santa Ana police said.

The victim was able to break free and run away from the van before calling 911 and reporting the attack, the DA said.

Officers worked with Uber to determine who the driver was and detained Sanchez at his Costa Mesa home a few days after the attack, police said.

Sanchez had been working as an Uber driver for about a year at the time of the assault, according to officials.

He faces a maximum sentence of eight years in state prison if convicted. Sanchez’ arraignment is scheduled for May 1 at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.

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