Fort Lauderdale cab driver accused of raping woman in parking lot

Max Raphael, 29, arrested on charges of kidnapping, sexual battery

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A cab driver has been arrested after he raped a woman last month who was visiting Fort Lauderdale, police said.

According to the arrest report, Max Raphael, 29, picked up the victim and her friend  at the Galleria Mall in the 2400 block of East Sunrise Boulevard at about 12:30 a.m. on Oct. 9.

The victim's friend told Raphael to take them to an ATM. After the woman exited the cab, Raphael drove off with the victim still inside his car, police said.

According to the report, Raphael drove the woman to a parking lot in the 100 block of Northeast Third Avenue, dragged her out of the cab, threw her to the ground and raped her.

Police said he then drove off, leaving the victim lying on the ground.

She was taken to the Nancy J. Cotterman Sexual Assault Treatment Center, where she was medically evaluated.  Police said Raphael's DNA was positively identified in the victim's rape kit. 

Raphael faces one count of kidnapping and one count of sexual battery.

On Wednesday, Yellow Cab released a statement saying, "Yellow Cab takes its passengers and their safety very seriously. Since we became aware of the issue, Yellow Cab has fully cooperated with the authorities and will continue to do so."

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