We noted before the case of Enio Ruben Tablas. There is an update in this case. In March 2016, Mr. Tablas was “convicted of sexually assaulting a female passenger was sentenced Wednesday to a five-year prison term.” He will also “have to register as a sex offender and pay restitution to the victim, and he also faces deportation. A jury found Tablas guilty of two counts of third-degree sexual assault late last year. He has been charged in a separate sex assault of another passenger, although no trial date has been set in that case.” Allison Schaefers and Dana Williams, Cabbie gets prison term in assault of woman, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, March 3, 2016 (“Schaefers and Williams”).
In November 2015, Enio Ruben Tablas, 54, a “taxicab driver who was convicted of sexually assaulting a passenger in July 2014 is no longer allowed to drive a cab in Honolulu because he was recently convicted “of two counts of third-degree sexual assault.” The story also notes that “Tablas has been charged in another sexual assault case involving a passenger, but no trial date has been set in that case.” How Mr. Tablas came to be behind the wheel of a taxi is a problem itself given his prior criminal record. The story noted that
[t]he charges against Tablas were highlighted in a September Honolulu Star-Advertiser series on the city’s oversight of the taxi industry. Although Tablas has past convictions for theft, driving with a suspended or revoked license due to DUI, failure to take a chemical test and numerous traffic violations in California and Hawaii, he was allowed to get a taxi license because the city’s criminal background checks go back only two years and are limited to Hawaii.
Dana Williams, City pulls license of cabbie guilty of sexual assault, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Nov. 24, 2015. See, also, Allison Schaefers and Dana Williams, Remember Me – I’m the Red Cab, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Sept. 21, 2015.
A March 2016 news account added that
Tablas faces charges in the sexual assault of another female passenger in March 2014. In that case, a woman was walking alone on Nuuanu Avenue [in Honolulu] after a night of drinking when Tablas approached her in his red cab and offered her a free ride. She told police she passed out in the cab and awoke to find Tablas raping her. She said he told her to smile, took her picture and dropped her off near Ala Moana Center.
Court records show Tablas was charged with harassment for an incident in May 2013, when he was accused of waking a sleeping woman on a grassy area of Kalakaua Avenue at 5:45 a.m. The woman told police Tablas offered her a taxi ride, then pulled over near Kapahulu Avenue and touched her without her consent. The woman didn’t show up for trial, and the case was dismissed.
Deputy Prosecutor Victoria Chang said Tablas, originally from Guatemala, entered the United States illegally through Mexico. When he was 23, he was arrested in California on suspicion of kidnapping, robbery, rape and attempting to kill a passenger in his car who rejected his sexual advances, according to a 1985 Los Angeles Times story. Chang said that incident also involved a woman who was riding in his taxicab.
Schaefers and Williams. “Honolulu City Councilman Ron Menor said after the hearing that he introduced Bill 10 in response to the Tablas case and the Star-Advertiser’s taxi series. The bill extends criminal background checks to 10 years and also gives the city Customer Services Department administrator the right to suspend the certificate of a taxi driver who has been charged with serious crimes.” Schaefers and Williams.