A driver with RideAustin has been charged after police say he sexually assaulted a woman in his vehicle in June.
According to court documents filed Oct. 16, the alleged victim made a report to Austin police on June 10 saying she was raped by a driver. The woman said she hailed a ride home after being out drinking, and that the driver told her he was going to assault her when they arrived at her home. The woman said the driver, later identified as 40-year-old Osmani Limonta Diaz, told her during the alleged assault that “no one will believe you.” The woman told police that she ran into her home after she was assaulted, and the affidavit notes her brother called 911 to report his sister had been raped.
Police said they issued a subpoena for the ride taken by the alleged victim, and RideAustin confirmed Diaz picked up the woman. The affidavit states Diaz denied assaulting the victim, and that police obtained a search warrant for a DNA sample.
According to the affidavit a DNA sample taken from the alleged victim by SafePlace was sent to a laboratory to be examined. Police said the DNA obtained during the Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE) matched DNA provided from the suspect.
Diaz has been charged with felony sexual assault.
RideAustin issued the following statement regarding the case:
No person should ever have to experience sexual assault. The safety of RideAustin riders is our number one priority and upon being notified by the Austin Police Department (APD) of the alleged assault, Andy Tryba, CEO of RideAustin, immediately reached out to the APD and provided RideAustin’s full assistance - including documentation and the driver's address. Though the incident was still under investigation - RideAustin deactivated driver Osmani Limonta Diaz from the RideAustin platform as well as proactively notified the other rideshare platforms that the driver was known to work. RideAustin will continue to do everything we can to fully support and cooperate with the APD’s investigation into the matter.
RideAustin remains committed to taking steps we believe will help protect our riders. This driver had no previous history of criminal activity and passed both the fingerprint-based background check as well as the social-security-based background checks. RideAustin will continue to use both of these - as well as expand our female-only driver options (an option for women riders to request only women drivers). We will also continue to evaluate of our practices to ensure the safest possible experience for our riders.