SANTA MONICA/WEST HOLLYWOOD—Lt. Erika Aklufi of the Santa Monica Police Department informed Canyon News via email on Wednesday, April 10 that a suspect responsible for a 2023 sexual assault has been arrested.

On September 7, 2023, authorities responded to the 2900 block of Pennsylvania Ave regarding a sexual assault. A woman reported that a Lyft driver picked her up from a restaurant in West Hollywood and sexually assaulted her during the ride home.

The victim, a Santa Monica resident, fell asleep in the car and woke up to inappropriate touching. The suspect offered to walk her to her door, which she refused. Once home, she realized several hours passed since she was picked up.

Santa Monica detectives investigated and identified the driver as Fernando Macias Morales, 34, of Los Angeles. He was arrested on April 5, 2024, in the San Fernando Valley.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office charged Morales with felony counts of:

  • Kidnapping to commit a sexual act (California Penal Code 209(b)(1))
  • Sexual penetration of a person intoxicated or under sedation (California Penal Code 289(e))
  • Oral copulation of a person intoxicated person or under sedation (California Penal Code 287(i))

His bail is set at $500,000. Anyone with additional details is asked to contact Det. Stephanie Davis at 310-458-2201 x4400, Sgt. Chad Goodwin at 310-458-8931, or the Watch Commander desk 24 hours a day at 310-458-8427.