More Victims Sought After Lyft Driver Arrested for Sexually Assaulting Santa Ana Girl

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Lyft Driver Arrested on Suspicion of Kidnapping, Sexual Assault of 15-Year-Old Girl

Lyft Driver Arrested on Suspicion of Kidnapping, Sexual Assault of 15-Year-Old Girl

May 12, 2023

A local Lyft driver has been arrested in connection with the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl.

More Victims Sought After Lyft Driver Arrested for Sexually Assaulting Santa Ana Girl

Fredi Rojas, 30, of Orange, California, was arrested Wednesday and booked on suspicion of kidnapping and sexual assault of a minor. The incident reportedly occurred last month, according to Santa Ana police Sergeant Maria Lopez. The Lyft driver suspect was being held on $1 million bail as of Thursday, according to a report from ABC 7.

Sergeant Lopez indicated that the attack occurred on April 13.

“The alleged victim saw Rojas driving by slowly and flagged him down to help charge her phone, Lopez said. Rojas stopped and offered to help and ‘forced’ her into the car, drove to a parking lot and sexually assaulted her in the vehicle,” ABC 7 said.

Police did not disclose exactly what time the incident occurred, but indicated that the victim was in the area of 1200 North Bewley Street when she needed assistance with her phone, according to KTLA.

Rojas, a Lyft driver, was behind the wheel of a rented white Nissan Rogue at the time of the incident, according to police. The sexual assault of the 15-year-old is believed to have occurred inside the vehicle. The suspect allegedly drove the girl to another location within Santa Ana and dropped her off following the sex crime. Detectives do not believe the sexual assault survivor was a Lyft customer.

“Although he was a Lyft driver, to our understanding he was not working at the time of the incident but because he is a driver and has potential contacts with other possible contacts, the likelihood could be greater of having additional victims,” Sergeant Lopez said, according to Fox 11.

Due to the suspect’s “capacity as a Lyft driver,” law enforcement officials believe he may have victimized others. Accordingly, Santa Ana Police officials are requesting the public’s assistance in identifying any additional victims or providing any information related to the April 13 abduction and sexual assault.

Anyone with a tip pertaining to a crime committed by Lyft driver Fredi Rojas is urged to contact Detective Amada Miller at 714-245-8363 or Anonymous tips may also be directed to Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.

February 2023 Sexual Assault Involving Malibu Rideshare Driver

In February, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) announced the arrest of Kyle Jon Cook, 28, in connection with a sexual assault committed while working as a rideshare driver. Similar to the April 2023 sexual assault case involving Fredi Rojas, authorities suspected Cook may have victimized additional women and urged the public to come forward with any information.

Based on the nature of the allegations and Mr. Cook’s access to rideshare participants, detectives believe there may be additional unidentified victims,” the Sheriff’s Department said in February. “Detectives are seeking the public’s help in identifying any such victims.”

September 2022 Sexual Assault of Minor Involving Armed Rideshare Driver

In September 2022, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) authorities arrested 37-year-old Jonh Erik Bastidas Arenas in connection to an armed sexual assault of a minor occurring the month prior. Law enforcement officials indicated that the victim was walking home in the area of Gilmore Street and Sylmar Avenue, near Van Nuys Elementary School, on August 13, 2022, when the suspect drove up in a 2021 white Toyota Prius.

LAPD officials said the suspect then “opened the passenger door of the Prius, brandished a weapon, and directed the victim to enter the car.

“Out of fear, the victim complied with his demand,” LAPD officials said in a news release last year. “While inside the vehicle, the suspect sexually assaulted the victim.

Arenas was arrested and subsequently charged with kidnapping and sexual assault of a minor.

How Often Does Uber and Lyft Rideshare Sexual Assaults Occur?

Rideshare sexual assault statistics involving Uber and Lyft passengers as well as drivers are considered general estimates, and perhaps an actual undercount of the true number of crimes committed.

Some Uber and Lyft rideshare sexual assault statistics updated for 2023 include:

  • In 2018, a study commissioned by Uber revealed that there were 3,045 reports of sexual assault related to Uber rides in the United States in 2018. This included reports of rape, attempted rape, and unwanted sexual contact, among other types of sexual misconduct. The same study also found that there were 235 reported cases of “non-consensual sexual penetration” in Uber trips.
  • In 2018, a separate study conducted by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center found that 7.5% of female respondents who had used rideshare services reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment or assault during a trip. The study also found that 92% of the victims did not report the incidents to the rideshare company or law enforcement.
  • In December 2020, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that California’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) had fined Uber $59 million for failing to answer the regulator’s questions pertaining to a safety report issued by the rideshare company. The safety report uncovered nearly 6,000 rideshare sexual assault claims and 19 rideshare murders that occurred in the U.S. from 2017 to 2018.
  • Wired reported that a criminologist and senior fellow at the University of Chicago, John Roman, called Uber’s crime statistics “alarmingly high.”
  • In the safety report, Uber confirmed that police were involved in only 37% of the rape incidents reported through the company’s app.

Sexual Assault Lawsuits Filed Against Uber and Lyft

In September 2019, 14 women filed suit against Lyft alleging the rideshare company mishandled their sexual assault, sexual misconduct, and rape complaints. The women, who were listed anonymously on the complaint, claimed that Lyft chose “to stonewall” law enforcement investigating those sex crimes.

Shortly therafter, in December 2019, 20 additional people came forward to sue Lyft for various sex crime incidents. Many of the alleged sexual assault incidents occurred after a night of drinking, according to the complaint.

Both lawsuits allege that Lyft’s background checks are inadequate, and that the company fails to protect passengers with sufficient safety features.

How to File Your Uber or Lyft Sexual Assault Lawsuit for Financial Compensation

California survivors of Uber or Lyft sexual assault have rights as well as legal options. A civil lawsuit can be a means of helping an Uber or Lyft sexual assault survivor obtain much-needed financial compensation. Additionally, civil claims may be brought regardless of whether or not the local District Attorney’s Office ever files criminal charges against a rideshare sexual predator.

Contact our top-rated team of expert sexual abuse attorneys online or by phone today to pursue justice and secure a financial award for damages.

At Dordulian Law Group (DLG), we fight aggressively on behalf of survivors – working tirelessly to secure justice and maximum financial damages awards one case at a time. Led by Sam Dordulian, a former sex crimes prosecutor and member of the National Leadership Council for RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), DLG is one of the nation’s top-rated and most proven sexual assault firms with real, multi-million dollar results for survivors.

Our team of Uber and Lyft sexual assault attorneys has maintained a 98% winning record through more than 100 jury trial victories and secured over $100,000,000.00 in settlements and verdicts for clients like you. When looking to hire an aggressive and proven rideshare sexual assault firm, DLG is the best choice you can make. We will treat you and your case with the utmost respect, discretion, and professionalism and fight tirelessly for the maximum financial compensation you deserve.

Contact us today at 866-GO-SEE-SAM for your free and confidential Los Angeles Uber or Lyft sexual assault consultation.

Go See Sam