WASHINGTON — For the second time in a week, a MetroAccess paratransit van driver has been arrested for sexually assaulting a passenger.
On June 28, Fairfax County police said Jose Pino Estrada, 35, of Alexandria, showed up to the Falls Church home of a passenger to return a cellphone she left in his van the day before.
The victim, a 51-year-old woman, told police that Estrada asked to use her restroom after he came to her home to return the phone. When he came out of the restroom, he asked to hug her and she declined.
“He hugged her anyway and then he took her into another room and allegedly began to sexually assault her,” said officer Tawny Wright with Fairfax County police. The woman said she fought Estrada off and he left.
Two days later, the woman reported the incident to a counselor, who encouraged her to contact police. After an investigation, Estrada was charged with rape. He turned himself into police on Wednesday.
Estrada works for Diamond Transportation, a company contracted by Metro to offer transportation services.
He is the second MetroAccess driver to be charged with sexually assaulting a disabled female passenger. On Wednesday, MetroAccess driver Derrick Bowen, 44, was arrested for a similar crime in Laurel, Maryland.
Metro said that Estrada’s employment has been terminated.
“I am deeply disturbed by these allegations, especially as they involve our customers with disabilities.” Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said in a statement.
Investigators said it is possible that there are other victims, and they are urging anyone who believes they were victimized to call the Fairfax County Police Department at 703-691-2131.
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