Nov 2, 2023
Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officials are searching for a Lyft driver who allegedly raped a USC student after she ordered a rideshare home from a West Hollywood club.
The alleged sexual assault occurred around 3 a.m. on November 1 after the female USC student was returning to her apartment from a Halloween Carnaval gathering in West Hollywood. USC’s Department of Public Safety indicated that the rape occurred outside of the student’s residence in the 3600 block of South Grand Avenue.
The Lyft driver allegedly raped the woman inside his car – described as a black sedan – after arriving at her apartment near the University Park Campus. The survivor has not been identified at this time.
The alleged Lyft driver rapist is described as:
LAPD and Lyft representatives did not provide additional details when reached for comment Wednesday night, according to a report from ABC 7.
While various media outlets reported that it was unclear whether the USC student got into the correct Lyft vehicle, university officials have urged students to be vigilant.
A campus crime alert notice was issued which included mention of university resources available to students, including:
* Source: USC Survivor Support Community (@ssc.at.usc)
USC officials did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment early Thursday, according to a report from the New York Post.
The suspect who allegedly raped a USC student following a Lyft rideshare from a West Hollywood club on Halloween evening remains at large. Anyone with information about the alleged sexual assault is urged to contact the university’s Department of Public Safety at 213-740-6000 or the Los Angeles Police Department at 213-485-6571.
Local ABC 7 Los Angeles published a number of reactions from students following the campus alert notifying them of the alleged rape of a fellow student by her Lyft driver.
“It just caught me by surprise,” said USC junior Lisa Eidum. “Typically I’m already scared of Lyfts. I will walk as my first choice. So hearing that made me a little scared, because it (reinforced) my fears of taking Lyft. Definitely induces some anxiety.”
“It’s just like you don’t know who they are,” Eidum added. “You don’t know the background of the driver, what their intentions are.”
USC student Katherine Lee, a sophomore, told ABC 7 that she takes Lyft rideshares on a regular basis and was actually planning on using the service on Halloween night. She told the news station that she began “rethinking that option” after seeing the university crime alert.
“I think it’s very shocking,” Lee said. “When we think of Lyft it’s a safe app to use, because there are a lot of safety features. I use the safety features all the time.”
In May, a local Los Angeles Lyft driver was arrested in connection with the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl.
The suspect – Fredi Rojas, 30, of Orange, California – was arrested and booked on suspicion of kidnapping and sexual assault of a minor. The incident reportedly occurred in April 2023, according to Santa Ana police Sergeant Maria Lopez.
In 2021, Lyft released company data which confirmed 4,158 sexual assaults (360 of which were reported rapes).
Lyft’s “Safety Report” cited steps to improve rideshare passenger safety:
In 2019, Uber released its own company safety report which confirmed it had received approximately 6,000 claims of sexual assault following 2.3 billion rideshare trips in the United States throughout 2017 and 2018.
Dordulian Law Group (DLG) has successfully represented clients in rideshare sexual assaults and other sex crime lawsuits leading to multi-million dollar damages awards. Our founder and president, Sam Dordulian, is a former sex crimes prosecutor and member of the National Leadership Council for RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence nonprofit organization. Dordulian recently secured a $2.25 million settlement for a rideshare rape survivor who was drugged by her driver. Rideshare sexual assault incidents have increased significantly in recent years, and survivors are encouraged to come forward and report their crimes as soon as possible.
To speak with an Uber or Lyft rideshare sexual assault attorney, contact DLG today at 866-GO-SEE-SAM for a free and confidential consultation. We will provide you with all available legal options, including information on how to file a possible civil lawsuit for financial compensation. We never charge any upfront fees for our rideshare rape attorney services – survivors of sexual assault do not pay anything until after we have successfully secured a damages award on their behalf.
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and personal injury concerns.