Former Roanoke Uber driver accused of sexual battery pleads no contest

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) -- A former Roanoke Uber driver accused of sexual battery of his rider pleaded no contest Wednesday morning. Thomas Jefferson Dyne had been indicted on a felony charge of Aggravated Sexual Battery, but it was amended to a misdemeanor.

Dyne appeared uncomfortable in a Roanoke County courtroom Wednesday morning, while the prosecutor read aloud her evidence and testimony from the victim.

"And though she protested and said she only needed to get home, his words were that he would not take her home unless she did it," said Camille Harvey with the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office.

Harvey then went into graphic detail about what happened next, when police say Dyne forced the woman to touch him inappropriately.

This occurred on a night in September of 2018, when Dyne, then a driver for Uber, picked up a woman who had been out in downtown Roanoke. The prosecutor said the woman had been drinking and ordered the Uber ride to take her home.

During the ride is when Harvey said Dyne forced the woman to touch his genitalia.

The woman reported the assault to police, gathering information on his vehicle from the Uber app. She then identified Dyne by his DMV photo. Police charged him with sexual battery. Harvey said that after he was arrested, Dyne admitted to the sexual contact with the victim but said it was consensual.

Then in court Wednesday, Dyne pleaded no contest to the charge.

"So the fact that they reduced it from a felony to a misdemeanor is a good sign," said Dyne's attorney, David Steidle. "But we still have a ways to go."

He will be sentenced in November. The maximum penalty for his charge would be 12 months in jail and/or a $2,500 fine. Steidle said Dyne has been and is continuing to receive professional counseling and has been ordered to have no contact with the victim.

"We're getting him through this process and we're working with him to get through some things he just needs to get through and get this over with and move on with his life."

Dyne will be sentenced on November 13 at 9 a.m.

Harvey declined to comment for this story.

When Dyne was charged in November of 2018, he had been ordered not to work for a ride share company. Steidle confirmed his client is employed but is not working for a ride share service.

WDBJ7 reached out to Uber regarding Dyne's plea. In an emailed statement, a representative wrote:

"What’s been described is deplorable and something no one should ever have to go through. We removed the individual’s access to the app as soon as we became aware of the allegations.”

RELATED | Roanoke Uber driver charged with sexual battery of his rider

According to the rideshare company, Dyne had only been driving for Uber a short time.

Officials have not shared the full details of the police report.

Stay with WDBJ7 for updates.

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