Long Island man allegedly posed as ride share driver, abused unconscious women

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Tuesday, November 30, 2021
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Kristin Thorne has more on Raul Gauman, a man from Bay Shore who allegedly posed as a ride share driver and recorded himself sexually abusing unconscious women.

RIVERHEAD, Long Island (WABC) -- A Long Island man is accused of posing as a ride share driver and recording himself sexually abusing unconscious women.

Raul Guaman, 43, of Bay Shore, appeared in court in Riverhead Tuesday, pleading not guilty to a slew of charges including Sexual Abuse and Criminal Sex Act.

Police believe Guaman also burglarized a home and said that when they searched his phone, they found several videos of him assaulting victims.

According to prosecutors, police pulled over Guaman earlier this month at 5th Avenue and the Southern State Parkway in Bay Shore for running a stop sign. They were unable to determine his identity because he had various fake IDs in his car.

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They brought him to the precinct and say he consented to a search of his cell phone and his apartment.

In his home, authorities say they found 32 cell phones and driver's licenses belonging to 16 different women.

They believe he was engaged in this alleged predatory activity since at least January 2019, when he allegedly recorded himself touching the private parts and performing oral sex on an unconscious woman.

Police say when they asked him about the video, he admitted it was his phone and his video and that he did film it.

They then contacted the female victim, who said she had absolutely no idea that this happened to her.

She reportedly told them she remembered taking the rideshare and that she woke up stranded in Oak Beach and had to knock on people's doors and someone called 911.

Officials said that on November 14, 2021, he broke into a home and put his hand under the pants of a sleeping woman.

She woke up and called 911.

Please say he went to the home hoping to film himself abusing the victim's sister.

"Guaman's actions are both shocking and disturbing," acting Suffolk County Police Commissioner Stuart Cameron said. "The true scope and magnitude of this case is under active investigation and our department is currently attempting to identify other victims who were preyed upon by this defendant."

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Women had reported to police previously that their cell phones were missing and that they had woken up in areas they didn't know after taking a ride share.

Police say there is evidence that the women had called legitimate ride share companies, so it is unclear how Gauman may have picked them up.

They are also investigating if the women may have been drugged.

They say Guaman, an illegal immigrant from Ecuador, is currently under immigration removal proceedings, and police are working to identify the other women in the videos.

Police say some of the victims may not even know they were attacked, and anyone who believes they may be a victim is urged to contact police at 631-854-8352.

"This is very much an ongoing investigation, but we wanted to get information on this case out because we are attempting to identify additional victims," District Attorney Tim Sini said. "The Suffolk County Police Department's Third Squad has been working tirelessly in collaboration with my Office to investigate this individual and hold him accountable. For those folks who may have been victimized by this defendant, it is critically important that you come forward."

Guaman's attorney says his client has no criminal history and has been in the U.S. for 23 years, the last 11 in Bay Shore. He works in construction and has a 12-year-old daughter.

He was remanded without bail and is due back in court on January 6. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

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