Man accused of posing as rideshare driver, raping 7 women in Los Angeles area arrested

LOS ANGELES -- Authorities are urging people to be on the lookout for predators after a man who allegedly posed as a rideshare driver was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault.

"As a woman and as somebody who goes out at night in Hollywood it's scary. You know, when it's two in the morning and you're getting out of a bar, you're not really looking at the license plate," Rachel Evans said.

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Nicholas Morales, 44, was arrested on suspicion of raping seven women, authorities said. Alhambra police took him into custody after a string of sexual assaults that happened for more than a year. Authorities released a sketch of a suspect last May.

Authorities said Morales attacked women in West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Los Angeles. He would reportedly drive up to women who appeared drunk and ask if they requested a ride.

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"Make sure you get in the right car. When you use the application, it gives you the make and model of the car and it gives you a license plate," L.A. County sheriff's Deputy Walleska Bracks said.

In 2016, Harley Smith, the daughter of director Kevin Smith, told Eyewitness News about her encounter with two men who pretended to be rideshare drivers. "I noticed that on their phone Instagram was opened instead of Uber, which was another red flag," she said.

She trusted her instincts and did not get into the car.

Morales is being held in lieu of $10.3 million bail.

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