Osmani Limonta Diaz is a former driver for Austin-based ridehailing app "Ride Austin."
Austin Police told FOX 7 last June a woman, who we'll keep anonymous, was Limonta Diaz's passenger after a night out with friends. Investigators say when they pulled up to her Central Austin home he turned around and told the victim he was going to have sex with her.
After the assault, her brother called 911. Police say the forensic exam pointed to Limonta Diaz.
This week a Travis County jury found him guilty of second degree felony sexual assault.
On Friday the victim took the stand during sentencing.
"I have developed quite a fear of people around me and I have no interest in being social or...you know I've cut ties with most of my friends, I don't talk to them very much anymore," the victim said.
Along with Limonta Diaz's brother who pleaded with the jury to remember he has family back in Cuba he financially supports. "...to analyze the case carefully and to be aware that he's a family man, he's a father who's never had any problems at all and his family needs him," his brother said with the help of a translator. After several hours of deliberation the jury decided on an 11-year sentence.
Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Sylestine says it's a strong verdict.
"First of all that we encourage people to come forward with allegations like this and they can be believed. And this jury did believe the victim in this case. And I want her to be validated by this," Sylestine said.
Defense attorneys argued since Limonta Diaz has never been arrested or convicted of a crime in Cuba or the U.S., it just doesn't add up that the encounter wasn't consensual.
"I think it's kind of a scary time for men right now when a woman can simply say 3 words: 'I was raped,' not be able to give any details and have all the physical evidence indicate that that was not true and yet my client is going to spend the next 11 years incarcerated for it," said Limonta Diaz's attorney Jackie Wood.
By the way right after this happened "Ride Austin" told us Limonta Diaz's regular and fingerprint background checks came back clean.
Ride Austin says they dropped him from their database before he was even arrested.
A Travis County Jury has sentenced a Ride Austin drive to 11 years in prison. He faces no fine. The driver, Osmani Limonta-Diaz, was found guilty of sexually assaulting a passenger using the rideshare app in June 2017.
According to the Austin Police Department, a woman was using Ride Austin to get home. When Limonta-Diaz pulled up in front of the victim's home in Central Austin, he turned around to tell her he was going to have sex with her. “Before being able to go home she was subsequently sexually assaulted in the back of the car,” said Sgt. Martina St. Louis, Austin Police Department.
After being assaulted, the women ran into her house.
Her brother called 911 and a forensic exam was performed. “Even though he's fingerprinted and basically in the system, he committed this crime. How do you prevent that?” said St. Louis.
According to Ride Austin, Limonta-Diaz's social security and and fingerprint background checks came back clean. “As a father of two little girls, I was absolutely appalled and no one should have to experience an incident like this,” said Andy Tryba, Ride Austin CEO.
Before the driver was even arrested and charged, Ride Austin had him dropped him from their database. “I also contacted the other ride share programs that we knew that person drove for to ensure they were in communication with APD and take appropriate action,” said Tryba.