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Brendan McCarthy / Eyewitness News
Email: bmccarthy@wwltv.com | Twitter: @bmccarthyWWL

NEW ORLEANS -- The Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office has refused a second-degree kidnapping charge against a 60-year-old cab driver accused last week of raping a customer.

Prosecutors on Thursday refused the charge against Pervez Iqbal, just two days after his arrest, according to court records.

'Sometimes the evidence just isn't there,' said Assistant District Attorney Christopher Bowman. He noted that the office conducted an investigation and found the charges weren't warranted.

'We have to have proof beyond a reasonable doubt,' Bowman said. 'The police have to have probable cause to make the arrest.'

Iqbal was accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 25-year-old woman on Sept. 29. Investigators said the woman left the Jax Brewery on Decatur Street that morning.

Her friends hailed the cab and asked the driver to take her home.

Police said the victim lost consciousness inside the cab and later woke up inside Iqbal's Metairie apartment as he sexually assaulted her. Police said Iqbal later dropped the woman off at her residence in New Orleans.

The woman later identified him in a photographic line up, with help from photos provided by the city's taxi cab bureau. Police said Iqbal was employed by American Cab Company.

New Orleans Police Department spokeswoman Remi Braden said Monday evening that the officers arrested Iqbal because the woman told them she had been kidnapped and assaulted.

It's possible Iqbal could be investigated by Jefferson Parish for the alleged sexual assault.

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