The San Luis Obispo Tribune reports that former Uber driver from Santa Maria, Alarcon Nunez, was sentenced on Monday, April 26, 2021 to more than a half-century in prison after being found guilty of 13 felonies. The crimes he has been convicted of include three counts of rape, for sexually assaulting and stealing from five women across the central California coast in 2018. We have been closely following this case, from Nunez’s arrest to his conviction, as our team of compassionate attorneys is representing one of his victims in a lawsuit against Uber for failing to protect her against this violent criminal.
It took jurors only three hours to find Nunez guilty of all charges against him following his two-week trial in San Luis Obispo Superior Court. At his sentencing on Monday, two of Alarcon Nunez’s five victims presented victim impact statements that were read to the court by deputy district attorney Melissa Chabra, who prosecuted the case.
The women shared their stories of how the crimes have plagued their lives, forcing them to move from the area and seek treatment for long-lasting trauma. A third woman read her statement in court, sitting just feet away from the defendant who sat with his fingers crossed and showed only minimal, if any, emotion.
Alarcon Nunez, who was listening to the proceedings with the help of an interpreter, did not make any statements. Superior Court Judge Craig van Rooyen, who presided over the trial, sentenced Alarcon Nunez to 46 years to life in prison, plus an additional eight years and eight months which must be served first. According to the District Attorney’s Office, he must serve all 54 years and 8 months.
Should he be released from prison, Alarcon Nunez, 40, would be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Van Rooyen said during the hearing, which was being broadcast to other victims not in the courtroom, that Alarcon Nunez exploited a position of trust to commit violent crimes against “particularly vulnerable” women. The judge made it clear that the victims in the case are not to blame for Alarcon Nunez’s conduct.
Van Royan was clear, “I want you to know that I heard you, and the jury heard you, and that this was not your fault.”
In his final statements to the victims, Van Rooyen said that Alarcon Nunez violated a position of trust.
“You were particularly vulnerable. This is not something that you asked for, and an Uber driver is someone who is in a position of trust,” van Rooyen said, noting that people should be encouraged to seek a safe ride in similar circumstances. “It was a betrayal for the defendant to take advantage of his position.”
Following Monday’s hearing Alarcon Nunez will remain in County Jail pending transfer to California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officials.