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Uber Driver Charged With Sexually Assaulting Passenger Held On $500 Bail

WOBURN (CBS) -- The Uber driver who was fired this week after being charged with sexually assaulting a passenger was arraigned Thursday.

Junior Clarke, 31, of Lawrence, pleaded not guilty to charges of indecent assault and battery and related crimes. He was ordered held on $500 bail, and ordered to stay away from the victim and any ride-sharing or transportation companies.

He is accused of inappropriately touching a passenger during a ride Saturday from Methuen to Norwood.

The victim, a 25-year-old woman who was using the Uber app for the first time, told police Clarke repeatedly asked her to kiss him, touched her inappropriately and accosted her during the approximately 50-mile trip.

Court documents revealed that the victim texted a friend "he's grabbing my arm" and "call the cops" during the ride.

By the time police arrived at the victim's drop-off location, Clarke had left. Massachusetts State Police troopers were able to identify him based on the information provided to them by the victim, and arrested him later Saturday.

At his arraignment Thursday in Woburn District Court, Clarke was said by prosecutors to have no record in or out of Massachusetts.

Taxi drivers were present at Clarke's arraignment, calling for tougher regulations on ride-share drivers--including background checks.

They echoed statements made by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh Wednesday. Walsh said this incident is one more reason why more needs to be done to keep passengers safe.

"That could have happened in the streets of Boston," Walsh said. "I want to be able to have control of doing background checks to make sure that the people of Boston who take Uber, or who take any ride-sharing services, are safe."

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