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San Francisco: A Safe Heaven for Rapists – the ‘Rideshare Rapist’ Turns Out to Be an Illegal Immigrant
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Photo: Twitter/SFPD

San Francisco: A Safe Heaven for Rapists – the ‘Rideshare Rapist’ Turns Out to Be an Illegal Immigrant

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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – 18 July, 2018

An illegal immigrant and now-former Lyft employee is accused of a series of violent rapes he allegedly committed in San Francisco. ICE laid blame on city’s sanctuary policy this Monday. While bail was initially set at $4,234,000. Judge Braden Woods ordered the ‘Rideshare Rapist’ to be held without bail on Tuesday.

“On July 13, ICE lodged a detainer with the San Francisco County Jail on Orlando Vilchez Lazo --a citizen of Peru illegally present in the U.S —following his recent arrest on a variety of criminal charges – including rape, kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon,” ICE wrote in a statement. “ the San Francisco County Jail does not honor ICE detainers nor notify ICE about the impending release of aliens in its custody. In doing so, the jail not only provides a refuge for illegal aliens, but it also shields criminal aliens who prey on people in the community.”

Lyft confirmed that Lazo was an employee in a statement sent by email to KRON4, "We have confirmed that this person did drive for Lyft, but as soon as we were made aware of these horrific and deeply disturbing allegations, we immediately deactivated him. We are still investigating at this time, but with the information presented, we have no reason to believe these incidents occurred on the platform."

 “Our thoughts are with the victims of these senseless acts, and we stand ready to assist law enforcement with an investigation,” Lyft spokeswoman Kate Margolis said.

Orlando Vilchez Lazo, the 37-year-old suspect police dubbed the “Rideshare Rapist”, is an immigrant from Peru, who came to U.S. soil illegally, and who had been working for a ride-hailing service.

Now the question is not “to be or not be”, but how Vilchez Lazo was able to drive for Lyft while he was in the country illegally. The company says they outsourced their background checks. A third party uses an applicant’s Social Security number to check their driving history and criminal record.

However, is this really enough to insure the safety of Lyft's clientele?

Lyft's man rival Uber said that Orlando Vilchez Lazo never drove for their company.

In a FOX News interview with Angela Alioto, the author of the original sanctuary law as a member of the Board of Supervisors, said that the implementation of the Sanctuary law has gone far beyond their initial goal. The goal was to protect families, not violent criminals.

“In 94 I amended it to take felons out because they were treating it as though felons were in. So, I specifically amended it to say we’re not covering dangerous felons,” said Alioto to KPIX5. “In 2013 and 2016, David Campos and John Avalos went back and amended it to add serious dangerous felonies, three within seven years.”

Reaction from other candidates in the race for SF mayor has been swift. Mayoral candidate Mark Leno opposes the move.

“That sacrifices San Francisco values in particular in regards to sanctuary city to suggest, to perpetuate this Trump myth that our immigrants are murderers and rapists and child molesters – really instills fear into communities and really is not worthy of Democratic candidates,” he said.

District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim echoes that sentiment.

“I was incredibly surprised that the author sanctuary policy is now coming out to weaken our status as a sanctuary city,” said Kim. “I’m very proud that San Francisco is a sanctuary city and that we are a place that protects all of our residents regardless of documentation. Her proposed changes I think make us less safe.”

London Breed’s campaign issued a statement saying, “London would never support a measure that describes immigrants as murderers, rapists and felons.”

London Breed, who is now the 45th mayor of San Francisco faces not only problems with feces and narcotics on the streets, which USA Really reported earlier — she has to choose between the well being of fellow Americans and that of illegal immigrants, some of which commit violent crimes.

San Francisco should not be safe Heaven for rapists, killers and drug dealers.

“The duties of the task force officers were to author numerous search warrants, follow all investigative leads that we had up to that point, conduct undercover and uniformed surveillance, and to follow every lead that we could to every location that we could imagine,” said San Francisco Police Cmdr. Greg McEachern.

The San Francisco Police Department said the first assault occurred in 2013 and the second in February of 2018.  In June 2018, DNA evidence and the same modus operandi connected the cases. The victims had been waiting for a commonly known rideshare service outside local bars, and were then taken to another location and sexually assaulted.

 “The taskforce followed numerous leads and the Special Victims Unit conducted a proactive surveillance operation every weekend in the downtown San Francisco area to prevent additional sexual assaults, monitor and log any suspicious rideshare vehicles and drivers or individuals posing as such, and ultimately to identify a suspect,” officials said.

On July 7th, The investigators observed suspicious behavior from a driver operating what appeared to be a rideshare vehicle, police said. The driver was stopped and identified as Vilchez Lazo. The driver’s DNA was obtained and submitted for analysis and comparison.  Tuesday, July 10, 2018 the San Francisco Police Department Crime Lab confirmed that the driver’s DNA matched forensic evidence from the June sexual assault. The crime lab is conducting the final DNA confirmation tests on all four assaults.

On Thursday, Lazo was taken into custody. He was charged with multiple offenses including false imprisonment, kidnapping, assault with intent to commit rape, sexual penetration with a foreign object and rape. Rideshare companies are cooperating with SFPD investigators to determine whether Vilchez Lazo has ever been a documented rideshare driver.

“ICE has made this case about sanctuary laws and immigration status, and that has nothing to do with the charges that are being brought by the district attorney,” said Deputy Public Defender Eric Quandt, who represented Vilchez Lazo on Tuesday.

Federal immigration authorities sent requests to local jails around the country asking them to hold undocumented inmates or notify immigration officials 48 hours before release, so agents can pick them up for deportation. Vilchez Lazo will only be released if all the charges against him are dropped.

San Francisco policy prohibits such cooperation unless the defendant has been convicted of a serious crime, while state law prohibits cooperation unless a person has been charged or convicted of a serious crime. Vilchez Lazo, however, has no criminal record in San Francisco or anywhere else in the state, according to court records and the district attorney’s office.

He is being held without bail before his trial and, if convicted, faces multiple counts of life in prison.

San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy entered the national spotlight after the 2015 murder of Kate Steinle on Pier 14. The case was controversial because the shooter, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, was in the country illegally and released from jail weeks earlier, despite ICE asking for a notification request so he could be deported for a sixth time.

At Tuesday’s court appearance, Vilchez Lazo wore orange jail-issued clothing with his hands cuffed behind his back. Slight in stature and speaking softly, he quietly answered the judge, saying he could not afford his own attorney and that he understood the charges against him.

He is due back in court Thursday for arraignment.

It’s believed there could be other survivors who were sexually assaulted by Lazo and police urged any other survivors or witnesses to come forward. Please, contact the SFPD Special Victims Unit at 415-553-1521. The SFPD can also be contacted through our 24 hour tip line at  (415) 575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD. You may remain anonymous.

Author: USA Really