Denver Lyft Driver Accused of Kidnapping, Sexually Assaulting Women and Cops Say There Might Be More Victims

Denver Police

Cops say John Edgar Pastor-Mendoza, 41, kidnapped at least 10 women, according to an affidavit filed against him, the Denver Post reported.

A Denver Lyft driver is accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting at least 10 women between September 2018 and July 2022 and there may be more victims, police say, according to the Denver Post.

Cops say John Edgar Pastor-Mendoza, 41, kidnapped at least 10 women, according to an affidavit filed against him, the Denver Post reported.

Pastor-Mendoza is charged with 41 felony counts, including 10 counts of kidnapping, 12 counts of sexual assault, 18 counts of attempted sexual assault, and a single robbery charge.

Authorities said that Pastor-Mendoza responded as the driver when the women used ride-sharing app Lyft 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 said 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 that anyone with information about Pastor-Mendoza to please call 720-913-2000.

Inside Edition Digital has reached out to the Denver criminal courts to see if Pastor-Mendoza has entered a plea or has legal representation and has not heard back.

Inside Edition Digital has reached out to Lyft for comment on this story and a spokesperson said in 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 "We have no record of these rides occurring on the Lyft platform. None of these incidents were reported by riders to Lyft. We believe the driver was targeting rideshare riders but providing rides off-the-platform [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 the safest because it is done outside of the vehicle before passengers get in. We send push notifications reminding riders of these tips before every 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 Crime said that they blacked out after drinking alcohol and then allegedly woke up in either a residence or vehicle and encountered a man.

The suspects descriptions were roughly consistent of the alleged perpetrator and said he was Hispanic or Latino with short or curly hair and ranging in age from about 35 to his 40s, according to Law and Crime. He spoke with an accent, the women said, according to Law and Crime.

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.

With the 10 cases already being reported and the 18 phones discovered, cops believe there could be more victims.

Pastor-Mendoza was initially charged Aug. 29, and the complaint against him was amended last Friday, according to the Denver Post.

He is next due in court Nov. 4, according to Denver Post.

At this time, Mr. Pastor-Mendoza has not yet entered a plea, according to the district attorney's office who tells Inside Edition Digital in an email.  He is being represented to the Office of the Public Defender.

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