Man accused of sexually abusing Lyft driver gets probation

and last updated 2018-12-21 17:37:22-05

A man accused of groping Lyft driver while she was driving on the freeway across the Valley was sentenced to five years of probation.

Court paperwork shows that Joseph Daniel Marquez pleaded guilty to amended charges of attempted sexual abuse.

The Department of Public Safety reports that on Jan. 15, 2017 around 2:15 a.m., a female driver for Lyft picked up two men in Old Town Scottsdale. She later told police that the two men appeared to be intoxicated.

DPS reported that as the woman was merging onto the Loop 101, 30-year-old Joseph Daniel Marquez allegedly reached from the back seat and touched her shoulders. The woman instructed the man to sit back in his seat, but he reportedly ignored her warnings and began inappropriately touching her.

The woman reported that she was trying to fight off Marquez with one hand while still driving with the other. At one time, Marquez grabbed her throat with one hand as he continued fondle her breasts with the other.

"It got to the point where I could not breathe, and it got really scary for me," said the victim, Tina, who asked not to use her last name due to the nature of the crime.

A passenger sitting in the front seat of the car allegedly helped Marquez by attempting to restrain the woman, authorities said.

The men directed her to an area in south Chandler where she was able to stop the car, pull out a knife and order the men out of her car.

Marquez, who left his cell phone in the back the backseat of the car, was located and arrested at his home in Phoenix on Jan. 26, 2018.

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