A former driver for 2 in style journey-sharing providers was sentenced Thursday to a year in jail and three years probation after he admitted exposing himself to at least one feminine passenger and groping one other throughout rides in North County earlier this year.
Vista Superior Court Judge Michael Popkins additionally ordered Jeremy George Vague, 37, to register as a intercourse offender for the incidents, one in every of which was made public when Vague was arrested in September. That arrest prompted different ladies to return ahead with accusations.
On Dec. 1, the San Marcos man pleaded responsible to a felony rely of false imprisonment in addition to to 2 misdemeanor costs — sexual battery and indecent publicity. The misdemeanors are the 2 offenses that landed Vague on the intercourse-offender registry.
During Thursday’s listening to, Deputy District Attorney Katherine Flaherty referred to as Vague “a sexual predator and an opportunist.”
Defense lawyer Sean Leslie, advised the decide that Vague — a married father of two — was ashamed and remorseful for his actions, and was taking “full responsibility.”
“He’s crying as we speak,” Leslie stated as he checked out his shopper. “He is so ashamed of what he has done.”
Popkins stated he took the case “very seriously” and that Vague “took advantage of young girls.” However, he stated, jail was extra applicable than jail.
“I decided the case was an opportunity for Mr. Vague to be supervised on felony probation,” Popkins stated.
Vague’s responsible plea got here comparatively early in the case, earlier than the preliminary listening to in which prosecutors lay out their allegations and current proof. The plea spared the victims from testifying — and that performed a task in Popkins’ determination to condemn Vague to jail and probation.
The decide additionally famous Vague’s negligible legal report — a misdemeanor linked to a theft in his school years — in addition to Vague’s regret.
The false imprisonment and lewd conduct expenses have been associated to an 18-year-old Palomar College scholar whose grievance began the investigation. The sexual battery cost was linked to a second sufferer, a 24-year-old lady who got here ahead after seeing information reviews.
The 18-year-old used the Uber experience-share app to request a experience from the Palomar campus to her residence in Escondido. Prosecutor Flaherty stated that, as an alternative of taking the passenger instantly residence, Vague turned off the Uber app and drove his blue minivan down a aspect road. The sufferer grew suspicious and began texting associates. The prosecutor stated that Vague tried to persuade the younger lady to take off her shirt, and in addition uncovered himself as she sat in the entrance passenger seat.
Police arrested the 7-foot-tall, 270-pound Vague at his house later that night.
During the following investigation, detectives discovered that on Sept. three, two ladies who had been consuming sought a journey residence by means of Uber. During the experience, Flaherty stated, the defendant groped considered one of them. Then he helped carry the closely intoxicated lady into the house, and took her shirt off whereas her good friend was distracted. When the good friend found what had occurred, she ordered Vague out of the house.
That incident led to the sexual battery cost.
Although costs weren’t introduced in different situations, a variety of different complaints got here to mild from individuals who encountered Vague as a driver or as a basketball and volleyball coach, Flaherty stated. The phrase that stored arising, she stated, was “creepy.”
Among them was an incident on Sept. 6, when Vague reportedly approached a feminine scholar on the Palomar campus and tried to speak her into stepping into his van. She refused and reported the incident to campus police. They later contacted Vague and advised him to not return to campus, in response to Escondido police Lt. Justin Murphy.
The subsequent day, whereas working for Lyft, Vague gave a 19-year-old lady a journey. Upon arriving, he requested the lady and her good friend to take an image with him, then touched them inappropriately as they posed, Murphy stated.
Following his arrest, Uber and Lyft banned Vague from working for them, in line with statements from the 2 corporations. On Thursday, Uber declined additional touch upon the matter, and Lyft stated it labored with regulation enforcement on the investigation.
During the sentencing listening to, protection lawyer Leslie stated his shopper made roughly $1,800 a month as a driver, and that his Uber score was four.94 out of 5 stars.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Vague performed basketball for 2 seasons — 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 — at Utah State University. The Associated Press reported that Vague pleaded responsible to a misdemeanor cost of auto housebreaking in Utah stemming from a July 2002 incident involving the theft of golf golf equipment.
In North County, Vague spent a minimum of 5 years teaching the women’ basketball group at Calvin Christian High School, however an administrator stated after his arrest that he was not related to the varsity.
In custody since his arrest, Vague has served greater than half his jail sentence and is more likely to be launched in lower than three months. He can be on probation till December 2019.
The victims didn’t attend the listening to. Vague’s spouse, mother and father and different supporters attended, however declined remark afterward.