Watch CBS News

Man accused of raping woman in Miami Beach while impersonating Uber driver

Man accused of raping woman in Miami Beach while impersonating Uber driver
Man accused of raping woman in Miami Beach while impersonating Uber driver 02:36

MIAMI BEACH - A 38-year-old Northwest Miami-Dade man is accused of raping a woman he took for a ride in his car while impersonating an Uber driver.

Claudel Lesperance is charged with the sexual battery of a physically helpless woman and an attempted kidnapping after meeting the woman while she was intoxicated outside the Barrom Club at 13th Street and Collins Avenue.

Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Mindy Glazer said, "I don't think this is attempted kidnapping. There is probable cause for the sexual battery as well. He picked her up at a club and she is inebriated and he cancels her Uber ride. He tells her he is an Uber driver and there is DNA confirmation."

Judge Glazer ordered Lesperance to stay away from the victim in this case and have no contact with her. He was held without bond.

According to an arrest report, the incident happened on February 9th. The victim told police she felt sick after consuming alcohol. 

She said she asked for confirmation that the driver worked for Uber and he said he did and then he later told her he worked for the Barroom Club. She said she lost consciousness and was raped. She also said the driver took $20 in cash from her and kicked her out of the car. 

She said the destination was the International Language campus nearby on Collins Avenue.

Police said the suspect was captured on surveillance video watching the suspect and said he appeared to be "fixated on her." They did a lot of work tracking the suspect and used the surveillance video to track him and his car.

In court, his attorney Jeff Robinson said, "It is noted throughout the affidavit that the defendant was in and out of consciousness so as far as her ability and recollection I don't know how bad it was."

Robinson said, "Mr. Lesperance is a married father of 4. His last prior occurred over 10 years ago and it was nothing violent. There is no indication he has ever done anything like this before. This is extremely out of character for him and his entire family was shocked to learn this."

Robinson and Lesperance's wife told CBS News Miami's Peter D'Oench that they had no comment.

Meanwhile, tourists and parents on South Beach said they were alarmed by the allegations.

Anna Huber, a tourist from Germany, said "I  think this was horrible. I feel sorry for her."

Cheryl Drezek, a tourist from Orange, Connecticut, said "I think it is sad, tragic and unfortunate. I always tell my daughter to never do things along, watch your drinks and stay together in bars and do not go out alone and go in pairs. 

That is the only thing you can do to protect yourself. They have fake IDs."

On Friday, Uber released the following statement: 

"While the driver was not online with Uber at the time of the incident, we take reports like this very seriously and have banned him from the platform. The safety of the Uber community is a top priority, and we encourage riders to always match important trip details, like the license plate, make and model of the vehicle, and driver name with the app."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.