BOSTON (CBS) – A driver charged with raping and robbing a woman in South Boston over the weekend was ordered held on $35,000 bail Wednesday.
Said Said, 40, of Quincy, pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated rape, unarmed robbery and receiving stolen property at his arraignment in South Boston District Court.
Prosecutors say the attack happened early Sunday morning in the Seaport District. The woman had just left a restaurant on Northern Avenue and flagged down a white minivan with livery plates that she thought was a taxi cab.
After entering the vehicle, the woman claimed the driver took her to a secluded area and sexually assaulted her. Prosecutors say during the alleged attack, Said wrapped his hands around the victim's neck, causing her to black out at one point.
"She was driven to a deserted location where the defendant proceeded into the backseat where the victim was located," said prosecutor William Champlin. "The victim told detectives that she struggled with the defendant striking him to remove him as he tried to grab her dress."
The victim said the man also stole her iPhone and several credit cards before dropping her off on State Street.
The credit cards were then used to make hundreds of dollars in unauthorized purchases, including one at a Dorchester Walgreen's where prosecutors say surveillance cameras capture his image. Police obtained the surveillance video and tracked down Said. He was arrested Tuesday night.
Many who visit and live in the area say it's a disturbing case that carries with it warning signs.
"People don't check. They assume they are livery cars and get in," said Nicole Davis.
Said is a native of Somalia with four children and pregnant wife. In court Wednesday, his attorney Allan Levin told the judge Said is the owner and operator of an airport shuttle service and an upstanding citizen.
If he makes bail Said will have to surrender his passport and wear a GPS device. He'll also be under house arrest.
Said is due back in court July 22.
Boston police say they are looking into whether this is connected to a 2013 case in the Seaport district where a woman says she got into a black livery vehicle, was taken to Newton and sexually assaulted.
WBZ-TV's Beth Germano contributed to this report. Follow her on Twitter @BethWBZ
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