A man who had been working as a driver for Uber pleaded no contest Wednesday to sexually abusing a passenger in Roanoke County.
Under a plea agreement, the charge against Thomas Jefferson Dyne, 41, was amended from aggravated sexual battery, a felony, to sexual battery, a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Dyne was arrested in September after forcing a woman’s hand onto his genitals, said assistant prosecutor Camille Turner Harvey.
The victim, who had been out downtown with friends and ordered an Uber to get home, reported that after the ride started Dyne demanded that she touch him.
When she protested, Turner Harvey said, he threatened that he wouldn’t take her home otherwise and pulled her hand in against her will.
She alerted the police when she got home. Dyne admitted to the contact but told authorities it was consensual, officials said.
Uber said it terminated Dyne immediately after learning of the charge last year. As part of the conditions of his bond, he was barred from working as a driver for any service.
The victim supported the plea agreement reached Wednesday, Turner Harvey said. The plea did not include any agreement about the terms of Dyne’s sentence.
A sentencing hearing has been set for November in Roanoke County Circuit Court. Dyne will face a maximum possible penalty of a year in jail and a fine.