Police: Lyft driver confesses to sexually abusing teen he drove home

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Julio Perez mugshot via CBSMiami

DAVIE (CBSMiami) A driver with the popular ride-sharing app Lyft is under arrest for an incident that allegedly happened after he dropped off his teenage passenger.

Davie Police said the 16-year-old boy arranged for a lift from his high school in Pembroke Pines to his home in Davie on Tuesday.

After being taken home, the teenager told detectives the driver, later identified as Julio Perez, waited about 10 minutes outside before knocking on the teen’s front door. The teen answered and Perez began to make suggestive advances toward the high school student, including caressing his face and telling him he was attractive. Perez allegedly asked to come inside.

Fearing Perez would force his way in, the teen opened the door willingly.

Once inside, Perez asked the boy if he wanted to “do things to him” and eventually coerced him into performing oral sex on him, police said in an arrest report.

The teen told detectives he feared that if he did not comply, “something would happen to him.”

Perez eventually left the home and the teen called police. They tracked down Perez but law enforcement said it wasn’t easy.

“We determined that Lyft was the application the child used to get a ride home,” said Capt. Dale Engle. “Lyft was not as cooperative as some of the other applications in releasing the information on who the driver was, although, we were able to get it the next day. Some of these applications provide you vehicle information, driver information. Lyft does not.”

According to their web page, Lyft runs extensive background checks on drivers. Drivers must undergo a DMV check, plus a national and county background check.

Perez was picked up by police on Wednesday.

“He was arrested in Hialeah last night, detectives traveled down there and interviewed him. During the course of the interview, Mr. Perez confessed to the allegations,” said Capt. Engle. “Our concern initially was, that this kid looked older, in thinking that this may be one of his defenses. But during the course of this interview, Mr. Perez indicated that he thought this kid was 12 years old.”

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