Man posing as rideshare driver accused of serial rape in San Francisco
A 37-year-old man accused of posing as a rideshare driver and raping several women in San Francisco since 2013 has been arrested, police said.
Orlando Vilchez Lazo is facing multiple charges, including false imprisonment, kidnapping, assault with intent to commit rape, sexual penetration with a foreign object and rape, the San Francisco Police Department said in a statement.
Police say he targeted women outside bars in downtown San Francisco and lured them into his car by posing as a rideshare driver before raping them.
“These assaults were not date rapes. They were not acquaintance rapes. These assaults were violent rapes committed by a serial rapist — a sexual deviant predator who was not going to stop until it was caught,” Police Cmdr. Greg McEachern told reporters.
Vilchez Lazo has been linked to four attacks in the past five years. The first assault was reported in 2013 and three others in February, May, and June of this year, but police believe there could be more victims.
“It’s very hard to believe that he wasn’t committing sexual assaults somewhere else,” McEachern said.
Vilchez Lazo was arrested Thursday after police launched an operation to monitor rideshare vehicles in San Francisco last weekend.
Detectives were looking for suspicious drivers when they pulled Vilchez Lazo over and obtained a DNA sample. They matched his DNA to evidence from a sexual assault reported in June, police said in a statement.
He is being held at the San Francisco County Jail on a bail of more than $4 million.
Authorities are still trying to determine whether he was employed by a ride-hailing company. Information on his attorney was not immediately available.