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Verdicts reached in sexual assault case involving former Lompoc Lyft driver

Posted at 1:55 PM, Dec 06, 2019

Verdicts were reached Friday in the jury trial for a former Lyft driver from Lompoc charged with sexually assaulting a passenger last year.

Jason Lamont Fenwick, 52, was found not guilty of assault with intent to commit specific sex crimes while committing a residential burglary, but was found guilty of a lesser charge of assault with intent to commit oral copulation and sexual penetration by a foreign object.

Fenwick was also convicted of oral copulation of an intoxicated person, sexual penetration by a foreign object of an intoxicated person and unauthorized invasion of privacy.

Jane Doe was present and visibly upset when the verdicts were read Friday afternoon in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court.

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.

The woman and her boyfriend were reportedly driving after being out drinking when they were pulled over and the boyfriend was arrested for DUI.

Arroyo Grande police then called a Lyft for Jane Doe.

She told San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's officials that Fenwick drove her home, helped her inside and sexually assaulted her.

Fenwick’s attorney argued the incident, which was reportedly captured on home surveillance cameras and shown during the trial, was not assault. Fenwick testified that the woman repeatedly asked him to stay with her and said she did not want to be alone.

During the 1.5 week's worth of testimony, jurors heard from the two Arroyo Grande police officers who conducted the DUI stop and arrest of Jane Doe's boyfriend the night of the assault, from Jane Doe's boyfriend, who she lived with, a Suspected Abuse Response Team (SART) nurse, who inspected Jane Doe, and from two "expert" witnesses on the effects of alcohol consumption.

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's detective who investigated the case also took the stand along with Jane Doe and Fenwick.

Along with testimony, jurors were shown video from surveillance cameras inside the home and an interview sheriff's investigators had with Fenwick prior to his arrest.

A lawsuit filed in Julyby the victim against Fenwick and Lyft claims that she woke up the morning after the attack bruised, naked and bleeding. According to the lawsuit, the entire assault lasted about 30 minutes.

Two other alleged victims from Southern California are also mentioned in the lawsuit.

“We thank the jury for their efforts in this difficult and emotional case,” 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 accountable. We also thank the Sheriff’s Detective Bureau and District Attorney staff who worked tirelessly to see that justice was done.”

Fenwick is set to be sentenced Jan. 22.

He faces a maximum of 10 years behind bars.