BOSTON, MA – It’s a woman’s worst nightmare.
Men posing as ride share drivers (Uber, Lyft, etc.) … to pick up and sexually assault intoxicated women. Even more disturbingly, some of the suspects in these assaults are drivers who are still actively “employed” by the service providers.
One such individual, 39-year-old Alvin Campbell of Rhode Island, is the primary suspect in 8 such cases.
As such, Campbell was originally arrested in January and charged with kidnapping and raping one woman after she left a Boston bar in an extremely inebriated state.
As investigators began to put the pieces together and Campbell received additional rape and kidnapping charges along with five charges of recording a nude person. Those additional charges stemmed from his alleged involvement in 7 other similar cases that started in 2017.
The last of those 7 was in 2019.
In the most recent case, a Boston woman climbed into his black Chevrolet Suburban outside the Harp Bar. She told police that she remembered nothing from the “time she entered the vehicle until she woke up at Campbell’s home in Cumberland, R.I.”
Campbell, who is the brother of Boston City Council member Andrea Campbell, has not worked for Uber since 2016. He is currently being held on $250,000 bail. Ironically, he was attempting to have his bail reduced when the new charges were issued.
“The attacks on these women are the acts of a predator. Women are entitled to go out and enjoy themselves without the fear of being preyed upon, kidnapped or raped,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Rachel Rollins in a press release .
“With one exception, these women did not know each other. They shared in common only that each were out enjoying nightlife in Boston when Campbell found and violated them.
Now, they are linked by those horrific assaults. But these eight women are also linked due to the incredible bravery and courage they each displayed coming forward to hold their rapist accountable.”
According to the police reports in each case, the details may not match exactly, but they all had commonalities that point to a single perpetrator.
Campbell is alleged to have targeted the women at or near bars or other locations where intoxication had made them incapable of consenting or resisting. In every single occurrence, the women thought they were getting into a vehicle with a driver they had requested to pick them up.
Considering the fact that Campbell’s last engagement with Uber was close to 4 years ago, it caught investigators by surprise to find his vehicle covered in stickers and logos for the ride share giant. The vehicle was seized as most of the assaults took place in his car.
According to prosecutors in the cases, which come from Suffolk County as well as the municipal districts of Central, Roxbury, and South Boston, detectives obtained a warrant for his cell phone where they found videos and photos of 5 of the victims.
The DA addressed the work done by the members of the sexual assault unit in the press release.
“The BPD sexual assault unit did extraordinary work in these extraordinary times to hold an individual accountable for horrendous and predatory behavior,” said DA Rollins.
“As I have said before, the current crisis may have changed our modes of interaction, but it has not changed our mission. As we continue to navigate this crisis, I and my Office will always uphold our commitment to serve survivors of sexual assault with support, referrals for needed services, and vigorous prosecutions to hold perpetrators accountable.
We are here for you. We will continue to fight for you, and we will be standing right beside you.”
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As we stated from the beginning, the use of ride share for the purpose of sexually abusing women has become more than just an isolated event.
“I have only been DA for nearly 19 months. This long list of women – each targeted, assaulted, kidnapped, raped and/or murdered – is heartbreaking,” Rollins stated.
“Sexual violence is a form of hate crime and gender should be a protected category. It isn’t. Violence against women is not a woman’s issue, it is a civil rights issue. Men, we are calling on you to step up and intervene when you see questionable and criminal behavior. Speak to your sons. Real men don’t rape.”
Rollins’ office was able to successfully argue for a 10 year sentence for Imer Soto. The Dorchester man was convicted earlier this year “for kidnapping and raping a woman, who had ordered a ride share. He pulled the woman into the ride share car in which he was riding and raped her.”
Back in January 2019, another intoxicated woman was leaving Hennessey’s near City Hall. It was then that she was picked up by Victor Pena. He has been charged with holding her captive in a Charlestown apartment and raping her.
Several other cases are pending Boston-area prosecutors that all involve actual ride share employees.
According to Rollins’ office:
“Three Uber drivers – Ranjan Thapa, Michael Squadrito and Daudah Mayanja – all separately await trial on charges that they raped female customers in Boston while driving them home from bars in 2018 and 2019. Prosecutors said the assaults occurred in the Symphony area, in Dorchester, and along Storrow Drive.”
Finally, Louis D. Coleman III will be in federal court on charges of kidnapping that resulted in the death of Jassy Correia. The 23-year-old left the Venu nightclub in the Theater District after closing time on February 24, 2019. Coleman is alleged to have convinced Correia to get into his car. Police found her body in the trunk of Coleman’s car four days later in Delaware.
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