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Lompoc Lyft driver sentenced for sexually assaulting passenger in Nipomo

Posted at 2:25 PM, Jan 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-22 22:11:20-05

A former Lyft driver from Lompoc convicted of sexually assaulting a passenger in 2018 was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in state prison.

It was six months shy of the maximum sentence Jason Lamont Fenwick, 52, faced after being found guilty by a jury last month of assault with the intent to commit sexual assault, oral copulation of an intoxicated victim, sexual penetration of an intoxicated victim, and surreptitious photographing of the sexual assault victim.

The trial comes about a year after Fenwick's arrest for sexually assaulting Jane Doe, one of his passengers, in the early-morning hours of Nov. 4, 2018 at her Nipomo home.

"We are optimistic that this significant prison sentence will not only deter this type of horrific conduct, but also encourage crime victims to report their victimization with confidence that the criminal justice system will hold their offender accountable," said Deputy District Attorney Christopher White, who prosecuted the case, in a press release. "This young woman is a survivor who demonstrated tremendous courage by reporting the crime and testifying in court which was absolutely necessary in order to hold the defendant responsible. We also thank the Sheriff's Detective Bureau and the District Attorney staff who worked tirelessly to see that justice was done."

White says Fenwick will receive some credit for time served.

Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) released a statement in response to the sentencing, saying, “This horrific case shows why the state and ridesharing companies must continue to prioritize passenger safety. While justice may have been served today for the San Luis Obispo County victim, state lawmakers and regulators must act to stop sexual predators from being hired as rideshare drivers.”