(KRON) — A cab driver who allegedly sexually assaulted one of his passengers has been arrested and charged, according to the Petaluma Police Department. Petaluma PD officers responded on Tuesday night around 11:40 p.m. on a report of a sexual assault.
The victim told officers she’d called J’s Taxi requesting a ride from downtown Petaluma to a residence on the west side of town. The cab driver, who police identified as Noel Ortiz Cortez, picked the victim up and drove the requested destination. However, prior to allowing her to exit the cab, Cortez entered the rear of the cab through the driver’s side door, closed the door, and sexually assaulted the victim.
Following the assault, the victim got out of the cab and contacted Petaluma PD.
Officers and detectives with the Petaluma PD Investigations Team searched the area. Video evidence corroborating the victim’s account was found. Cortez was located and arrested for sexual assault. Detectives recovered forensic evidence from Cortez and the taxicab.
Cortez was booked into Sonoma County Jail.
Police describe the investigation as active and ongoing.