Roanoke Uber driver accused of sexual battery appears in court

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) - A Roanoke Uber driver accused of sexually battering his rider appeared in court Monday morning. A protective order will remain in place for the driver while prosecution decides how to proceed.

According to Roanoke County police, a woman requested an Uber ride in September from downtown Roanoke to her home in the county. During that ride, the woman allegedly was sexually battered by her driver, Thomas Jefferson Dyne, police have said.

Dyne had only been an Uber driver for a short time, according to the company. According to court documents, Dyne also goes by the name "Charles Denn." His bond was set at $10,000. Dyne is currently out on bail and has been ordered not to drive for hire.

He appeared in Roanoke County's General District Court for a hearing Monday morning, in which a Civil Protective Order against him was continued.

According to Dyne's attorney, David Steidle, the Commonwealth's Attorney is not currently prosecuting the misdemeanor charge against his client. Steidle said prosecutors could bring it back within twelve months, but that prosecutors are looking into possibly indicting Dyne on a felony charge. The window of opportunity for the Commonwealth's Attorney to do that, explained Steidle, does not have an expiration date.

Steidle told WDBJ7 that his team will rely on due process in this case and will allow the evidence to come out in court.