An Uber driver who allegedly sexually assaulted a female passenger in his car has been charged with rape.

Angel Sanchez, 36, is said to have picked up the woman from a party in Newport Beach in California on 30 March and was asked to take her to her Santa Ana home.

During the journey, the woman is said to have fallen asleep in the back of the grey Toyota Sienna and woke up to Sanchez allegedly sexually assaulting her.

However, prosecutors said she was able to break free and call emergency services to report the attack.

Sanchez was then traced through the Uber app and police arrested him in his Costa Mesa home.

"Nobody should go through what this rider reported to police," an Uber spokesman told Reuters.

"We worked with law enforcement on the investigation and will continue to work with authorities."

Sanchez will have his first hearing on 1 May. If convicted, he could face eight years in prison.

Uber said that Sanchez has since been banned from the app.

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Uber driver Angel Sanchez in police custody after allegedly sexually assaulting a woman in his car Santa Ana Police Department