Charges dropped in taxicab rape case

A cabdriver accused of raping an intoxicated passenger he picked up at a San Carlos bar was ordered released from jail Wednesday after prosecutors dropped all charges against him.

Jose Anenias Ramirez, 36, has been behind bars for more than three months in the case, which carried a maximum sentence of life in prison. He had been charged with kidnapping to commit rape, three counts of rape of an intoxicated person, three counts of rape of an unconscious person and one count of oral copulation with an unconscious person.

Prosecutors decided to drop the case due to insufficient evidence, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

To convict Ramirez, prosecutors would have had to prove he was aware that the woman was so intoxicated she could not give consent.

“Our evidence is not adequate to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt,” Wagstaffe said.

Ramirez’s defense attorney, Leland Davis II, said both he and his client were “elated.”

“When I told him, he threw up some prayers and was very thankful. He just knew in the end, in his words, justice would prevail,” Davis said.

Prosecutors said the victim spent the evening of Feb. 21 drinking at Clooney’s Pub in San Carlos before two fellow patrons saw she was intoxicated and called her a taxi. But instead of driving her home, prosecutors had alleged, Ramirez took her to his Redwood City home, where he assaulted her multiple times.

Wagstaffe said surveillance footage from inside the bar also contributed to prosecutors’ decision not to pursue charges, but he declined to elaborate.

Ramirez had claimed the sex was consensual.

tbarak@sfexaminer.com

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