DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Judge Gracie Lewis on Monday sentenced former Uber driver Talal Chammout to 25 years in prison for sexually assaulting one of his passengers in July 2015. This comes after jurors on Friday found Chammout guilty of the assault after nine hours of deliberations.
Chammout had faced a possible sentence between two years to life in prison.
The former driver was found not guilty on a second charge of forcing himself on his accuser during an earlier encounter.
Chammout's accuser spent roughly three hours on the witness stand in Dallas last week, testifying under the pseudonym Lindsay Kramer. On the stand, she freely admitted that she does not fully remember the incident, and initially misled police about how much she drank while out celebrating a friend's birthday, due to embarrassment.
"I was piecing together a night of spotty memories," Kramer said. She called authorities two days after the attack.
Police said that Chammout dropped Kramer off at her home in west Oak Cliff, then followed her inside, hit her on the head and sexually assaulted the then 27-year-old intoxicated passenger. Kramer said that she had before taken a ride in an Uber alone, but was clearly too drunk to drive.
Chammout has a prior felony conviction, which should have prevented him from becoming an Uber driver in the first place, but the 59-year-old man was using a fake city permit at the time of the attack. Chammout previously served time in prison after a federal weapons conviction.
Just hours before the trial began, Uber released the details of their new sexual assault/harassment policy. The company is now focused on "transparency, integrity and accountability," giving passengers and drivers more options and freedoms to pursue sexual misconduct claims.
Uber will also start to perform annual criminal background checks on U.S. drivers, hiring a company to monitor arrests.
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