No bail for driver in Dec. 6 sexual assault on Uber customer; case returns on Jan. 26
An Uber driver charged with rape and kidnapping will be held without bail until his next scheduled court hearing Jan. 26, authorities said at a hearing in Cambridge District Court this morning.
Alejandro Done, 46, of Boston, wasn’t in court – he previously entered pleas of not guilty on charges of rape, assault to rape, kidnapping and two counts assault and battery – for the hearing with Judge Antoinette Leoney. Done waived his right to a dangerousness hearing.
Authorities say that at about 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6, Done went to Tremont Street in Boston, where a young woman was waiting for an Uber ride after spending time with friends. Done drove to an unrequested location and jumped in the back seat with her, locking the doors and hitting and strangling her, as well as covering her mouth so she could not scream as he sexually assaulted her, police said.
It was not clear where the attempted sexual assault took place, said Jeremy Warnick, director of communications and media relations for Cambridge police. The victim’s complaint was made to Cambridge police.
It is also not clear that Done was the woman’s intended Uber driver. While there have been several similar incidents involving car services such as Uber, including three local incidents this month, it has been noted that the attackers weren’t necessarily the intended car service employee. The Boston Globe said that in one case, a victim got a text from her assigned driver while in the car of the person who claimed to be her driver, then attacked her.
Uber spokeswoman Kaitlin Durkosh could not say whether Done was driving for Uber at the time and was the intended driver for the customer on Tremont Street. She gave this statement:
This is an appalling crime and our thoughts remain with the victim during her recovery. Uber has been working closely with authorities and will continue to do everything we can to assist their investigation.
Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said such cases were “a reminder that people need to be more alert than ever when taking any kind of public transportation.”
“Ride shares may be a new frontier in public transportation, but the age-old wisdom still applies: know who is taking you and where; and act on your instincts to get away if you have any feeling at all that a situation seems suspicious,” Ryan said.
Uber posted about “Our commitment to safety” on its blog Dec. 17, assuring readers that the company continues to look at ways to ensure customer safety. The blog post notes:
Our app also displays a driver’s photo, license plate number, and vehicle type, so when our riders enter a car, they know with confidence it’s the right one with the right driver … but we have more work to do, and we will do it.