Denver Lyft driver accused of kidnapping, sexually assaulting at most 10 women between September 2018 to July 2022. Police say there could be more victims. Denver Post.
According to a Denver Post report, cops claim John Edgar Pastor-Mendoza (41), kidnapped at most 10 women.
Pastor-Mendoza faces 41 felony charges, including 10 counts for kidnapping and 12 counts for sexual assault. 18 counts of attempted sex assault are also included. There is also a single robbery case.
According to authorities, Pastor-Mendoza was the driver for the women who used Lyft ride-sharing app Lyft in order to request a ride. CBS News reported.
“Pastor-Mendoza allegedly responded as the driver when the women used a ride-sharing app to request a ride,” the Denver D.A.’s office In a statement. “Prosecutors claim that he would either sexually assault his female victims in his vehicle or take them to his home and assault them there. On July 21, 2022, Denver police received a CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) match from evidence collected from three victims linking Pastor-Mendoza to the alleged sexual assaults.”
Denver Police ask anyone with information on Pastor-Mendoza to call 720-913-2022.
Inside Edition Digital reached out to Denver’s criminal courts to find out if Pastor-Mendoza had entered a plea or is represented by a lawyer. We have not received a response.
Inside Edition Digital reached out to Lyft in an attempt to get comment. A spokesperson stated that Lyft had issued a statement. “The behavior described is absolutely appalling, and the driver is no longer on the Lyft platform. We have been in touch with law enforcement to assist with their investigation and stand ready to provide support in an ongoing capacity.”
The Lyft spokesperson also said that “Lyft has no records of such rides. Lyft users did not report any incidents. We believe that the driver was targeting rideshare passengers but offering rides off-the platform to those who were not riding with them. [not booked through the Lyft app]. The District Attorney’s Office suggested similar findings.”
Lyft also added that: “The best and most effective way for passengers to ensure they’re getting in the right car is to match the license plate shown in the Lyft app with the license plate of the arriving vehicle. This is safer because it’s done outside the vehicle before passengers enter. These tips are reminded to riders via push notifications before each ride.”
Police were tipped by a civilian to Pastor-Mendoza after a photo of him was given to them with the driver inside a club and a photo of his vehicle and driver’s license, according to the Denver Post. Investigators presented a photo lineup to a victim, who picked out Pastor-Mendoza as the man who assaulted her, according to the affidavit, the Denver Post reported.
The alleged victims described in the arrest warrant obtained by Law and CrimeAccording to the report, they blacked after having consumed alcohol. They then woke up in either their home or vehicle and found a man.
Law and Crime reported that the descriptions of the suspect were almost identical to the one he claimed to have been. He was Hispanic, Latino, with short or curly hair and an age range from 35 to 40. According to Law and Crime, he spoke with an accent.
The women described losing intimate personal items, usually phones and underwear and when performing a search of Pastor-Mendoza’s home, authorities allegedly discovered a cardboard box with 18 phones, Law and Crime reported.
Police believe that there could be many more victims with the reported 10 cases and 18 phones discovered.
Pastor-Mendoza was originally charged Aug. 29. The Denver Post reports that the complaint was amended last Friday.
According to Denver Post, he is due to appear in court on Nov. 4.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Pastor Mendoza has not yet entered plea. He told Inside Edition Digital via email. The Office of the Public Defender is representing him.