Police: Man impersonated rideshare driver, raped woman

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A man has been arrested and is facing charges after authorities say he impersonated a rideshare driver in Seattle and then raped a woman who got in his vehicle.

Israel Ramos-Islas, 34, turned himself in Wednesday after a family member recognized an image of him in news reports, according to a news release from the King County Sheriff’s Office.

A King County judge on Thursday found probable cause to hold Ramos-Islas in the county jail on $750,000 bond. Ramos-Islas is expected in court Monday and will be formally charged with first-degree rape, according to Dan Katzer, a spokesman for the King County prosecutor.

An attorney for Ramos-Islas declined to comment.

The King County Sheriff’s Office said in its statement that so far, detectives have been unable to connect the man to any rideshare companies.

The alleged victim in the case left a bar shortly after midnight on December 16, 2018, to catch a rideshare that her friend had ordered for her, according to a probable cause document obtained by CNN.

A man in a car led the victim to believe he was her rideshare driver, the court documents said, the woman got inside and they drove away.

At some point, the driver pulled over and raped the woman, according to the documents. He then drove her home.

The sheriff’s office said in its statement the suspect was captured in surveillance footage near the victim’s home.

Authorities finally released an image of the suspect this week after exhausting all investigative leads, the probable cause document said.

Ramos-Islas eventually admitted to having sex with the victim, the document said. He claimed he “thought she was consenting, but admitted that she was intoxicated.”

Questions have been raised recently over the safety of rideshares, especially after the body of 21-year-old Samantha Josephson was discovered in a field last Saturday. Josephson had gotten into a vehicle she mistook for her Uber, according to police in Columbia, South Carolina.

The suspect in that case faces chargers of murder and kidnapping in connection with Josephson’s death.