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Judge reduces bail for Lyft driver accused of raping passenger

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    ST. LOUIS, MO (KMOV) — A Lyft driver accused of raping a woman will be allowed to return home under house arrest while awaiting trial.

A judge reduced Larry Ward’s bail Wednesday citing his family ties to the area and that he’s been a resident of St. Charles County for the last eight years and had a full time job with MoDOT prior to his arrest.

Ward was charged in December with raping and kidnapping a woman he picked up in his rideshare car just a few blocks from Busch Stadium on June 22, 2019. Court documents allege that Ward turned off the Lyft app, entered the backseat of the car, and raped the woman.

Test results from the rape kit confirm Ward’s DNA was present.

Judge Michael Colona authorized posting 10% of Ward’s $100,000 cash bail, he must wear a GPS bracelet and be confined to his home in the 2200 block of Bay Tree in St. Peters. The judge allowed him to work between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. He was ordered not to drive a car, contact the victim, or use any rideshare service.

The woman, Cristen Giangarra, filed a lawsuit against Ward and Lyft seeking an unspecified amount of damages from the company.

The lawsuit says Ward was previously accused of sexual assault in 2002, but Giangarra’s attorney Michael Gallagher says the company’s background check only goes back seven years.

Giangarra hopes the suit will hold the company accountable, and prevent something like this ever happening again.

“My hope is that no other passengers are subjected to the trauma and pain that I have been through,” she said.

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