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Fake Uber driver to stand trial for sexual assaults



A man accused of luring three women into his car by pretending to be an Uber driver before he allegedly raped or sexually assaulted them will fight the claims at trial.

Francesco De Luise, 59, has been committed to stand trial in the County Court over 14 sexual offences against three women between January 2021 and September 2022.

Prosecutors allege De Luise would drive around licensed premises late at night and pose as an Uber or taxi driver to pick up the lone women, who were aged between 21 and 35.

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He appeared at Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday, where Magistrate Andrew Sim committed him to stand trial after finding there was enough evidence to support a conviction.

Asked how he pleaded to all charges, De Luise stood and said "not guilty".

He remains on bail with strict conditions, after his mother offered a $1.4 million surety to secure his release in December.

He is subjected to a curfew, can only drive for work purposes and cannot come within one or two metres of any licensed premises.

De Luise will face the County Court for a directions hearing on April 5.

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