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Hero cabbie sought on rape charge

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The Elmhurst cab driver who was hailed as a hero a year ago for his role in dropping off a 6-month-old girl at a Corona firehouse is now being sought by police for allegedly raping a woman he picked up in Astoria, police said.

Klever Sailema, 46, picked up the 23-year-old woman sometime Monday, police said. He then drove her to an unknown location in Queens and allegedly assaulted her, police said.

They described Sailema as an Ecuadorian immigrant, 5-foot-6 and 135 pounds. Police were also searching for Sailema’s car, a black 2005 Lincoln Towncar with the license plate T506480C.

Police asked a second livery cab driver who rendered aid to the victim shortly after the incident to contact them.

Sailema gained notoriety on Feb. 28, 2008, when he dropped off 6-month-old Daniella Cosme Perez at a Corona firehouse, telling authorities that the baby was left in his cab by a man who jumped out and fled.

It was later revealed that Sailema was part of a scheme by the baby’s 27-year-old father, Carlos Rodas, to abandon the infant. Sailema was dating the sister of the baby’s mother at the time.

Sailema and the baby’s aunt, 21-year-old Maria Siavichay, initially faced charges of criminal facilitation, but a judge dismissed the charges last April on the condition that the cabbie not get into trouble in the next six months.

Daniella and her underage mother, Yelemer Cosme Perez, were both transferred last March by the city’s Administration for Children’s Services to the Human Services agency in Maryland, where they came from.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at jwalsh@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

Posted 6:32 pm, October 10, 2011
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