Late one night last winter, a woman in the French Quarter hailed what appeared to be a taxicab, and the driver picked her up without any hesitation, agreeing to take her to her hotel.
But once she got in, the driver took the woman to an undisclosed location, forced her to undress at gunpoint, then raped her inside the car, police said.
Now, Curtis Hawthorne Jr., 22, faces charges of aggravated kidnapping, armed robbery and aggravated rape.
According to court documents, a sexual assault exam performed on the victim found traces of Hawthorne’s DNA.
The rape happened early Feb. 9. The victim was in the 300 block of Royal Street when she flagged down Hawthorne’s car about 2:30 a.m. after she mistook it for a cab, according to court documents.
Hawthorne pretended to be a cabbie and agreed to drive the woman to her hotel, police allege.
After the sexual assault, Hawthorne took the woman’s purse, containing her identification, cash and debit card, police said. He drove the victim to a location where he told her to get out, then drove away.
Hawthorne’s identity remained unknown until March 26, when the sexual assault kit was processed at the Louisiana State Police crime lab, connecting him to the rape.
Police obtained an arrest warrant for Hawthorne on April 2.
He was finally arrested Monday afternoon, nearly eight months after the alleged rape, at Dreux Avenue and Venus Street in Gentilly, according to court documents.
Hawthorne has previous arrests for domestic abuse battery, contributing to the delinquency of juveniles and illegal possession of a stolen automobile, according to Orleans Parish court records.
Hawthorne remained jailed Tuesday with bail set at $300,000, according to Sheriff’s Office records.