Prosecutors filed two more rape charges against a cabdriver accused of sexually assaulting an intoxicated passenger after offering to drive her home from a Burlingame pub after he declined a plea offer.
Dennis John O’Conner, 42, did not want to settle the case, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe who declined to share the terms of the proposed deal. Prosecutors then decided to dismiss the original rape case and refile it with additional charges of sexual penetration with a foreign object on an intoxicated person and oral copulation on an intoxicated person. The digital penetration charge was based on the defendant’s original statement but had not been charged while the other is based on DNA evidence recovered during the investigation, Wagstaffe said.
O’Conner had already been held to answer in the original case and set to stand trial Aug. 3 but the new charges require a return to the lower court. He returns to court July 29 for a preliminary hearing.
O’Conner, according to the District Attorney’s Office, met the victim at Beehan’s Pub where she was drinking heavily with her brother and friends. After they decided to call a cab, taxi driver O’Conner allegedly offered to drive her home but instead took her to the Ritz Motel in San Bruno where he rented a room and had sex with her.
The woman told police she remembered being loaded into the cab and O’Conner saying he wanted to make love to her but had no other memory until waking the following morning naked in the motel bed. A neighboring customer told police she heard a woman yelling "stop, stop, stop” from that room. Prosecutors say O’Conner confirmed his involvement through a pretext phone call and police interview but he reportedly claimed the woman was conscious and consenting.
If convicted, O’Conner faces up to approximately 12 years in prison, Wagstaffe said.
Michelle Durand can be reached by e-mail: email@example.com or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 102.