A former Uber driver will serve 11 months in jail for sexual battery of a woman who was a passenger in his car.

Roanoke County Circuit Judge Charlie Dorsey sentenced Thomas Jefferson Dyne, 42, to 12 months in jail with one month suspended on the condition he does not contact the victim or her family. The judge suspended a $2,500 fine on the same condition.

The passenger had been in downtown Roanoke and used the online service to book a ride home after 1 a.m. Sept. 9, 2018. Police arrested Dyne later that morning as he was getting ready for church.

Uber said it terminated Dyne immediately after learning of the charge.

Dyne pleaded guilty in exchange for prosecutors reducing his charge from a felony to a misdemeanor.

He said in court Wednesday he thought the encounter was consensual because the woman flirted with him. He said he now recognizes he misinterpreted her behavior.

“My actions were disgusting and should never have happened,” he said. “I wish I could take it back.”

Dorsey said he didn’t believe Dyne had any sincere remorse and couldn’t understand why Dyne had no words to explain his actions.

“If you can’t find words by now to explain it, the simple conclusion is that there is no explanation,” Dorsey said. “You’ve stolen, from a complete stranger, not just innocence, but trust and capacity to love.”

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Alison Graham covers Roanoke County and Salem news. She’s originally from Indianapolis and a graduate of Indiana University.

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