Uber driver from Santa Maria convicted of 13 rape, burglary charges following jury trial | Crime and Courts | #College. | #Students

A Santa Maria man who formerly drove for Uber was convicted of more than a dozen rape, burglary and assault charges Friday following a jury trial in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court. 

Alfonso Alarconnunez, 42, was convicted on all 13 counts, including the rapes of five women from Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, in a trial that lasted nearly two weeks, according to District Attorney Dan Dow. 

“These predatory crimes were committed against particularly vulnerable victims who placed their trust in the defendant to get them home safely when they were not in a condition to drive a vehicle,” Dow said. “The five victims were brave and courageous in providing the evidence and testimony necessary to achieve justice.”

Alarconnunez now faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. 

His convictions include 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; and one count of assault with intent to commit rape. 

Additionally, Alarconnunez received convictions on four counts of burglary of an unoccupied residence and one count of grand theft. 

The trial began March 15 and ended on March 26, with the jury deliberating for half that day until a verdict was reached shortly before 5 p.m., according to Dow. Seating for public viewing was limited to under five seats due to social distancing requirements. 

The jury trial for a Santa Maria Uber driver charged with raping several women in San Luis Obispo began Tuesday as opening statements were del…

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

The crimes involved five female victims, including four San Luis Obispo college students, and took place between July 2017 and January 2018, according to a second amended criminal complaint filed Oct. 31, 2019. Two of the rapes occurred between Dec. 17, 2017, and Dec. 18, 2017. 

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Investigators say Alarconnunez searched for parties in San Luis Obispo where he would solicit rides as an Uber driver, although he’d collect payment through the Venmo pay service in attempts to disguise his identity and Uber records.

After arriving at his destinations, Alarconnunez would escort his victims into their homes, where the rapes and burglaries occurred, according to San Luis Obispo Police Capt. Chris Staley, who said Alarconnunez took items such as laptops, cellphones and jewelry. 

Following an investigation, Alarconnunez was arrested after a search warrant was served at his Santa Maria residence in the 2300 block of Cesar E. Chavez, where detectives found several items belonging to the victims. 

An additional victim from Santa Barbara County came forward to investigators, bringing the total of victims to five, resulting in two additional charges of assault with intent to commit rape and first-degree residential burglary, according to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office. 

Alarconnunez was found to be living in the country illegally and voluntarily left New Mexico, returning to Mexico in 2005, and went under the aliases of “Bruno Diaz” and “Brush Bat,” according to Dow. It’s unknown when Alarconnunez reentered the United States or how long he has been living in California. 

Sentencing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. April 26 in Department 5 of Superior Court in San Luis Obispo.

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