NYPD Arrests Livery Driver Accused of Raping 12-Year-Old Passenger

TLC says the accused was operating illegally

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A 12-year old girl reported that she had been the victim of rape in the rear of a livery cab on Monday, and police arrested the suspect the next day.

The NYPD took 32-year-old Rafael Martinez into custody Tuesday night for allegedly sexually assaulting the young girl after he picked her up in Brooklyn. Police say the victim's parents ordered a livery cab from an independent cab company to transport her from Myrtle Avenue and Carlson Avenue to Ralph Avenue and Fulton Street.

According to two senior law enforcement officials, the victim’s mother order her a car for 20 minutes ride that became a two-hour ordeal.

Somewhere between the 3.5-mile drive, Martinez parked his car, entered the rear of the vehicle with the victim and raped her, according to police. He then got back in the driver's seat and took the girl to her destination.

According to the law enforcement officials, when the girl was dropped off she told her mother what happened and she was taken to Woodhull Hospital. The hospital subsequently called Special Victims Unit and the child was interviewed by detectives. Officials say she said that the cab driver pulled over, opened the rear door of the car and entered the rear seat and raped her. 

GPS records obtained by detectives show a long ride with a long stop in the middle, the law enforcement sources say.

Martinez has been charged with rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse, endangering the welfare of a child, menacing and assault. He was awaiting arraignment Wednesday night.

In a subsequent statement to News 4 New York, the TLC said that Martinez never held a New York City TLC license.

"The TLC is horrified that a child was attacked while being transported and we are very concerned for her and her family," the statement said. "The accused, Mr. Martinez, has never held a NYC TLC License, was operating illegally, and should also be held accountable for impersonating a TLC Licensee. TLC-Licensed Drivers are among the hardest-working people in New York City and it is incorrect to call Mr. Martinez, who has been charged with unspeakable crimes, a Cab, Taxi, or Livery Driver since he has never actually been one."

The TLC was also moving to to revoke the license for the car service that dispatched the unlicensed Martinez as well.

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