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Ex-Uber driver from Santa Maria sentenced to 50-plus years in prison for raping passengers

Ex-Uber driver from Santa Maria sentenced to 50-plus years in prison for raping passengers

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Alfonso Alarconnunez

Alarconnunez

A former Uber driver from Santa Maria was sentenced Monday to more than 50 years in state prison for raping female passengers, including San Luis Obispo college students, and burglarizing their homes. 

Alfonso Alarconnunez, 43, received a sentence of 46 years to life in prison, plus eight more years and eight months, after he was convicted of 13 felony counts on March 26.

Judge Craig Van Rooyen handed down the judgment in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court. 

Following a roughly two-week trial, a jury found Alarconnunez guilty of three counts of assault with the intent to commit rape during a residential burglary; two counts of rape of an intoxicated individual; one count of oral copulation of an intoxicated individual; one count of rape by force; one count of assault with intent to commit rape; four counts of burglary of an unoccupied residence; and one count of grand theft.

During his sentencing, three of the victims gave statements to the court describing how the crimes have impacted their lives, according to district attorney's spokesman Eric Dobroth, who added that one survivor explained how she lived in the "happiest place in America" until she was victimized in her own home. 

Alarconnunez was arrested in January 2018 following a complaint, and he later pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The crimes involved five female victims and took place between July 2017 and January 2018, when Alarconnunez worked as an Uber driver in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, according to a second amended criminal complaint filed Oct. 31, 2019. Two of the rapes occurred between Dec. 17, 2017, and Dec. 18, 2017.

Investigators said Alarconnnuez searched for parties in San Luis Obispo, where he'd solicit rides as an Uber driver but collect money through Venmo in an attempt to disguise his identity. When he dropped off his victims, Alarconnunez escorted them into their homes where he'd rape them and steal items, such as jewelry and laptops. 

Before he moved to Santa Maria, Alarconnunez lived illegally in New Mexico, going under the aliases of "Bruno Diaz" and "Brush Bat." He voluntarily returned to Mexico in 2005, but it's unknown when Alarconnunez illegally reentered the United States, according to District Attorney Dan Dow. 

"The defendant’s predatory actions decisively illustrate that he is not safe to be out in the community, and with his imprisonment, he will be unable to victimize anyone again," Dow said.

Deputy District Attorney Melissa Chabra prosecuted the case. 

 

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The following is taken from the Lompoc Police Department's calls-for-service log and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office daily arrest log. Those appearing as "arrested" are only suspected of the crime indicated but are presumed innocent.

The following is taken from the Lompoc Police Department's calls-for-service log and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office daily arrest log. Those appearing as "arrested" are only suspected of the crime indicated but are presumed innocent.

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