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Uber driver asked to masturbate in front of St. Louis passenger, charges say

Uber driver asked to masturbate in front of St. Louis passenger, charges say

Uber's 4Q loss narrows, raising hopes for pandemic recovery

The logo for Uber appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, May 30, 2019. Uber has reported that it whittled its losses at the end of a topsy-turvy year. In 2020, the ride-hailing service was forced to rely more heavily on its food-delivery service. That's because the pandemic dramatically reduced the number of people willing to hop into a car driven by a stranger. The fourth-quarter results announced Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021 drew a picture of a company making strides in its attempt to recover from a staggering blow delivered last March. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, file)

ST. LOUIS — An Uber driver was charged Tuesday with trying to engage in sexual contact with a woman he picked up in downtown St. Louis.

Will James, 54, of the 1200 block of Grieffield Place in Pagedale, was charged in St. Louis Circuit Court with a misdemeanor count of sexual misconduct.

A woman reported to police Sunday that James picked her up from a friend's home in the 1600 block of Pine Street, and while driving her home touched her leg and asked if he could masturbate in front of her.

She said no and quickly got out of the vehicle at her destination, charges say.

A judge denied bail for James who did not yet have a lawyer.

It's not the first sex case involving ride-sharing companies in St. Louis.

Former Lyft driver Larry Ward, 55, of St. Peters, has pending charges in the alleged rape and kidnapping of a woman in downtown St. Louis in December 2019. The woman later spoke out about the attack and is suing Lyft for damages. Ward, whose trial is set for November, is on house arrest except for reporting to his day job at a warehouse.

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