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St. Petersburg Uber driver sexually attacked woman in car, police say

He was arrested on charges of sexual battery and false imprisonment, police said.
 
Jose Antonio Canales Sanchez is facing charges of sexual battery and false imprisonment
Jose Antonio Canales Sanchez is facing charges of sexual battery and false imprisonment [ St. Petersburg Police Department ]
Published Nov. 2, 2023|Updated Nov. 2, 2023

An Uber driver has been arrested on charges that he sexually attacked a woman in his car after picking her up for a ride, St. Petersburg police reported on Thursday.

Jose Antonio Canales Sanchez, 51, is facing charges of sexual battery and false imprisonment in connection with the incident, which police said occurred Wednesday morning.

Police said Canales Sanchez picked up the 32-year-old woman at 6:24 a.m., then pulled over in a parking lot in the 700 block of Seventh Avenue N., according to arrest reports. He then got into the back seat and “began undressing her against her will and touching her private parts,” according to a news release issued by police.

Police said the woman “was able to fight him off and escape” by scratching and punching him. Canales Sanchez was arrested later that day, police said.

Bail was set at $15,000, which Canales Sanchez posted before being released from the Pinellas County Jail early Thursday morning, records show.