Former Uber driver arrested in connection with 2016 sexual assault case

- A former Uber driver is accused of sexual assaulting a female passenger.

The incident happened nearly two years ago, and Glendale Police say they were waiting on DNA results to get back from the crime lab before making the arrest. Now, 41-year-old Alberto Gandara is behind bars, and charged with one count of sexual assault.

According to Police, a 26-year-old woman claims Gandara raped her, while she was unconscious in his car in October of 2016. Back then, Gandara was an Uber driver, and the victim was his customer.

On October 20, 2016, Glendale Police say a 26-year-old woman reported to police that she may have been raped by her Uber driver. She had been drinking at two separate bars that night, and at around 1:00 a.m., she called an Uber to drive her home.

According to court records, the driver pulled into a parking lot and turned off his GPS device, shortly after the victim got into the back seat of the car.

"She remembers that the driver making advances towards her, made her uncomfortable," said Tiffany Smith with Glendale Police. "She tried to text her friend to let him know that she thought it was kind of weird that the driver turned off the GPS, and then she doesn't remember anything else after that."

The victim went to the hospital and underwent a sexual assault examination, and police tracked down the Gandara, who denied the charge.

"We were able to obtain DNA from the driver to see if there is a match," said Smith. "At that point, we have to wait for the DNA results to come back to conclude whether or not the DNA was from the driver."

According to the DPS, it took 14 months for the crime lab to analyze the DNA, and return the results to detectives. DPS officials say they currently have a backlog of more than 100 cases, and typically, a DNA analysis test take about five months to complete.

Police say Gandara's DNA was a match to the DNA collected from the victim. Gandara was arrested last week.

At his first court appearance, Gandara's attorney told the judge his client is a family man.

According to Uber officials, Gandara was removed as a driver when the company was notified by police of the investigation back in 2016. Gandara's attorney says his client does not have a criminal history.

Gandara is being held without bond.

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