Nicholas Morales

Man allegedly posed as ride-share driver to rape seven women; police fear there’s more victims

California police arrested a Santa Ana man who they believe posed as a ride-share driver to rape at least seven women.

Canyon News reported that the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office accused Nicolas Morales, 44, Tuesday of carrying out at least seven sexual assaults within a 15-month period, from October 2016 to January 2018. Sargent Steven Carr said the reported attacks occurred in Alhambra, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and West Hollywood.

Carr claimed that police originally arrested Morales in connection with a December 30, 2017, attack. That night, a woman called 911 alleging Morales had picked her up in Los Angeles and took her a secluded parking lot in Alhambra, where he raped her. Carr said forensic evidence led them to Morales. Police also executed a search warrant at Morales’ home and seized several items before arresting him on February 23 without incident, according to the Los Angeles Daily News

The Santa Ana man is charged with 27 felonies, which are as follows:

  • Nine (9) counts of forcible oral copulation
  • Six (6) counts of rape
  • Five (5) counts sodomy by use of force
  • Four (4) counts of sexual penetration by foreign object
  • One (1) count assault with intent to commit a felony
  • One (1) count attempted sodomy by use of force
  • One (1) count attempted kidnapping to commit another crime

The felony complaint also included multiple knife allegations. Morales faces 300 years to life in prison if convicted as charged, according to a Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office press release.

Los Angeles police released a sketch of the suspect last May after a woman was sexually assaulted in Hollywood after she got into his vehicle thinking it was a ride-share service. BuzzFeed reported that police believe there are more victims.

Prosecutors have not revealed what ride-share service or services that Morales allegedly pretended to work for.

The 44-year-old was arraigned in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Tuesday. Prosecutors requested bail be set at $10.3 million.

[Featured Image: Nicholas Morales/Alhambra Police Department; Police sketch/Los Angeles Police Department]