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Uber driver charged with rape held without bail

Judge Antoinette Leoney presided over the hearing Tuesday in Cambridge District Court. Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe/Globe Freelance

An Uber driver accused of raping a woman who was using the ride-sharing service this month was ordered held without bail Wednesday after he waived a hearing to determine whether he was too dangerous to be released before his trial.

Alejandro Done, 46, of Boston, agreed to be held under the dangerousness statute in Cambridge District Court. He was in the courtroom, but did not show his face. Judge Antoinette E. Leoney ordered Done held for 120 days.

“I’ve talked with him and conferred with him about the utility of going forward with the hearing, and I advised him to waive the hearing,” said defense attorney Bruce Ferg.


Leoney also approved a request from prosecutors to prevent Done from accessing personal and identifying information about the woman who reported the assault and other witnesses, though Ferg can.

In making the request, Middlesex Assistant District Attorney Kate M. Kleimola argued that the charges “involve crimes of stranger violence.”

“The victim and other witnesses have indicated they are in fear,” she wrote.

Done is due back in court Jan. 26 for a probable cause hearing.

He was arraigned Dec. 17 on charges of rape, assault to rape, kidnapping, and assault and battery. He pleaded not guilty.

The woman reported to Cambridge police that she had been attacked Dec. 6.

According to a police report filed in court, the woman who reported the sexual assault got into Done’s car at 170 Tremont St. in Boston after 7:30 p.m. after a friend hired a ride-sharing service to take her home. The report does not specify which service the friend contacted.

Ride-sharing customers can contact drivers and pay for the trip with a credit card using a smartphone app.

Prosecutors have said it was unclear whether Done had been summoned through Uber to pick up the woman. Ferg and Uber spokesman Taylor Bennett declined to comment.


Done allegedly told the woman the trip would cost $20 and drove her to an ATM on Stuart Street in a Toyota Camry because she did not have cash, the report said. Cambridge police have said the request should have raised a red flag because ride-sharing services do not require cash.

After the trip to the ATM, authorities said, Done drove the woman to a location that she did not recognize and assaulted her. During the attack, Done allegedly beat the woman, began to strangle her, locked the doors, and sexually assaulted her in the rear of vehicle, the report said.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan issued a statement Wednesday urging ride-sharing customers to be cautious. Uber customers are provided with their driver’s name, photo, car type, license plate number, and a telephone number in advance so they can verify who is picking them up, according to the company.

“This reported incident is a reminder that people need to be more alert than ever when taking any kind of public transportation,” Ryan said. “Ride shares may be a new frontier in public transportation, but the age-old wisdom still applies: know who is taking you and where; and act on your instincts to get away if you have any feeling at all that a situation seems suspicious.”

Done worked for Uber through its uberX service, a lower-cost option in which drivers use their own vehicles, Uber said last week. He passed a background check that included court records, driving history, sex offender registries, and Social Security traces going back seven years, Bennett said.


In court Wednesday, officials said Done had no criminal record.

Uber said it is working with authorities on the investigation. “This is an appalling crime, and our thoughts remain with the victim during her recovery,” said Kaitlin Durkosh, an Uber spokeswoman.

On the night of the alleged attack, Done recorded two ride-sharing trips in Boston: a dropoff at 120 Tremont St. — about a third of a mile from where the woman was picked up — at 7:36 p.m; and a pickup near 152 Huntington Ave. at 10:39 p.m., the report said.

Boston police also received reports from three other women who said they were indecently assaulted early Dec. 14 after hailing a ride via the Uber smartphone app. No arrests have been made in those cases, said Officer Neva Coakley, a Boston police spokeswoman.

Previous coverage:

Police offer tips on Uber, other services after assaults

Uber driver is accused in rape, kidnapping of customer

Women in two sexual assaults used Uber

After attacks, safety tips on hailing a taxi

Laura Crimaldi can be reached at laura.crimaldi@globe.com.