Home » Blog » Uber Driver in Florida with Extensive Criminal History Accused of Raping Passenger Celebrating 21st Birthday

Uber Driver in Florida with Extensive Criminal History Accused of Raping Passenger Celebrating 21st Birthday

In December 2021, a young woman’s life took a tragic turn as she celebrated her upcoming 21st birthday in Tampa, Florida. Having recently moved from Wisconsin for college, she found herself in an intoxicated state after a night out at Tangra Nightclub in downtown Tampa. Separated from her friends and unable to arrange a safe ride home, a compassionate bystander decided to call an Uber on her behalf, concerned for her well-being.

Unbeknownst to this Good Samaritan, the Uber driver who arrived to pick up the intoxicated young woman was 42-year-old Anthony Oliveras-Rivera, who, despite having a lengthy criminal history, was employed by the ride-sharing platform. Tragically, Oliveras-Rivera allegedly subjected the vulnerable passenger to a harrowing hours-long assault during the ride.

The driver reportedly picked up the victim at 10 p.m. but did not reach her destination at the Barrymore hotel downtown until 2 a.m., a journey that typically takes less than 10 minutes. Uber records indicate that the driver took the victim to Odessa, Florida, where he ended the trip on the Uber app, allegedly committing a sexual assault in the process.

The victim, who was either asleep or incapacitated during the ordeal, recollects briefly waking up to find the Uber driver sexually assaulting her. Subsequently, the driver dropped off the victim, described as a petite individual who rarely consumed alcohol, at the hotel. She was found passed out in the back seat of the car with her underwear pulled down to her knees, struggling to walk, speak, and having soiled herself.

Upon arrival at the hotel, the Uber driver sought assistance from hotel staff, explaining, “I need your help[.] I have a girl passed out in my backseat,” and requesting paper towels. Once hotel security transported the victim to a chair, she disclosed the assault to the staff, leading to her transfer to a nearby hospital. Medical professionals conducted a sexual assault examination, which yielded male DNA. Subsequently, the DNA matched Oliveras-Rivera’s, and he purportedly confessed to having sexual intercourse with his passenger, as claimed by the victim’s attorney, Andrea Lewis.

The suspect faces three sexual battery charges, with a bond set at $45,000. Oliveras-Rivera’s criminal history includes felony convictions in Puerto Rico in the late 1990s, where he served eight years in prison, followed by convictions for narcotics possession, robbery, and burglary in New York in the early 2000s. One of the incidents involved an armed burglary in which Oliveras-Rivera and two other individuals forced their way into an apartment at gunpoint, restrained the occupants, and demanded drugs from a safe.

Additionally, Oliveras-Rivera has a history of driving-related offenses, including driving without a valid license, speeding, running stop signs, and reckless driving, leading to multiple license suspensions, as detailed in court records and the lawsuit.

Upon learning of the driver’s criminal history, the victim was deeply shaken and traumatized, further amplifying her distress. Andrea Lewis expressed her concerns about the hire of an individual with such a troubling background by Uber, emphasizing the importance of vigilance for ride-sharing service users.

Uber’s background check process typically disqualifies applicants with criminal records, according to its website, and Florida state law prohibits individuals convicted of felonies within the past five years from becoming drivers. While Uber collaborates with third-party background check providers like Checkr, HireRight, Inc., and Samba Safety, and conducts regular screenings, the lawsuit alleges that the company hired Oliveras-Rivera despite his alarming history, a decision that may have endangered passengers, including the victim in this case.

As the legal proceedings continue, Uber has refrained from commenting on the pending litigation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *