Second DC Metro contractor charged with sexual assault

Second DC Metro contractor charged with sexual assault
© Anne Wernikoff

A second van driver who was contracted by Washington’s transit authority has been charged with the sexual assault of a disabled passenger this week.

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Police in Fairfax County, a Virginia suburb of Washington, announced Thursday that Jose G. Pino Estrada of Alexandria has been arrested Tuesday for allegedly raping a 51-year-old woman.

Estrada, 35, works for Diamond Transportation, which provides services for MetroAccess, a door-to-door service for elderly or disabled people who cannot use the Metro bus or rail systems.

The victim said she left her cellphone in a MetroAccess van on Monday and that the same van driver came to her apartment the next day to drop it off.

The driver asked to come inside to use the restroom and then asked for a hug, which the victim declined. But “the suspect hugged her anyway, then took her into another room and allegedly began to sexually assault her,” according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

The charges follow a separate arrest this week, in which a driver working for a different company contracted by Metro was accused of sexually assaulting an intellectually disabled passenger in the back of a MetroAccess van.

 “It’s a sickening situation, particularly for the family,” said Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld during a press conference about track safety issues on Wednesday. “I wish this would not happen, but it did.”

Both investigations are still open, and Fairfax County “detectives believe there may be other victims.”