Uber/Lyft driver accused of sexually assaulting women in North C - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Uber/Lyft driver accused of sexually assaulting women in North County

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VISTA (CNS/CBS8) - A one-time high school and college star basketball player accused of sexually assaulting three young women while working as a driver for the Lyft and Uber ride-sharing services in northern San Diego County pleaded not guilty Wednesday to felony charges.
   
Jeremy George Vague, who faces charges of sexual penetration by force and false imprisonment, was ordered held on $260,000 bail.
   
The 37-year-old San Marcos resident -- who is 7 feet tall and weighs 270 pounds, according to jail records -- is accused of committing the crimes over the last two weeks, said Escondido police Lt. Justin Murphy.
   
On Sept. 7, Vague allegedly assaulted a customer along with a female friend she met at the end of a Lyft ride in Escondido. The women, both 19, alleged that he groped them after getting them to pose for photographs with him, according to Murphy.
   
On Friday, Vague picked up an 18-year-old Uber customer in his blue 2014 Chrysler Town & Country minivan near the Palomar College campus. .
   
Instead of driving the teen to her Escondido home as requested, he took her against her will to another location and sexually battered her, the lieutenant alleged. She notified police, and detectives arrested the suspect that evening.
   
Investigators subsequently learned that Vague, a former girls high school basketball coach, allegedly had tried in vain to lure a woman into his vehicle at the same San Marcos college on Sept. 6.
   
``Since there was no specific criminal violation during this incident, Vague was contacted and advised by police not to return to the campus,'' Murphy said.
   
Police believe there may be additional victims who have not come forward.
   
"We are asking that (they) find the courage to come forward so we can hold Vague accountable for his actions,'' the lieutenant said.
   
The suspect held his Lyft and Uber jobs for about nine and three months, respectively, according to Murphy. Both companies have suspended his employment over the criminal case.
   
At Vague's arraignment, a judge ordered the defendant not to work for any ride-sharing service or coach sports on school campuses if he makes bail.
   
As a student athlete, Vague was a second-team All-Coast Conference basketball player at Canada College in Redwood and set scoring and shot-blocking records for San Marcos High School, where he was twice named most valuable player, and for the Utah State University Aggies, according to the latter team's website.
   
Vague will be back in court Sept. 29 for a readiness conference. A preliminary hearing was set for Oct. 5.

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