A Lyft driver is accused of raping four women at last count, but that number could be much higher as DNA evidence continues to reveal the crimes he committed. The Lyft driver was picked up after an alleged incident in which he entered the home of two college students and raped one who was drunk on the couch. He is also accused of raping a Lehigh student after crouching in her hallway waiting for her to emerge. At least two of the rape incidents involved a knife.
The defendant is alleged to have entered the home of women who he had picked up as a Lyft driver and then assaulted them.
Understanding serial rape cases
Rapes are very difficult to prosecute, but that is mainly because defendants actually knew the victim and then raise a consent defense to the charges. In other words, they claim that the victim consented or they believe the victim consented to the sex at the time of the assault, but then changed their mind afterward. Since the law favors the defense in matters of guilt, prosecutors have a difficult time winning these cases even with rape shield protections in place protecting victims from certain types of questioning.
When it comes to serial rape cases, however, it is much easier for prosecutors to get long sentences. That’s why the average sentence for a rape prosecution is 16 years even when the majority of these cases don’t end up in front of a jury. It’s because we’re only counting the cases that the prosecution won. However, nearly half the cases involving the adjudication of rape-related offenses diverged from the sentencing guidelines issued by the government. Only 55% of cases produced sentences within the guidelines. 45% of sentences were lighter than prevailing sentencing guidelines.
Serial rape cases are easier to prosecute because defendants don’t have the option of claiming consent. When you have one woman claiming she was raped on date, it can be very difficult to prove what happened between the two people. It simply comes down to the prosecution’s word versus the defense’s and juries are instructed to acquit in those situations. Serial rapists face multiple victims, a trail of DNA evidence, and a pattern of attack. These cases generally result in very long sentences, occasionally life sentences for serial sex offenders.
In this case, the prosecution has four complainants and DNA evidence linking the defendant to the women. It will be very hard for any criminal defense attorney to defend his client from these charges. Instead, they will likely negotiate a plea on their client’s behalf.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney Today
The Skier Law Firm, P.A. represents the interests of West Palm Beach residents charged with serious crimes. Our West Palm Beach criminal defense attorneys have the trial experience you need to pressure the prosecution into proving every element of their case. Call today and we can begin discussing your options immediately.