- Associated Press - Monday, May 20, 2019

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A western Pennsylvania professor working as a ride-hail company driver who was earlier accused of holding two women in his vehicle against their will is now facing charges involving a third woman.

Richard Lomotey, 36, of Monaca, is charged with kidnapping, unlawful restraint, simple assault and reckless endangering in the new case, which authorities allege occurred shortly before the previous one.

Police said the woman told them she saw an Uber vehicle, got inside and gave the driver $10, but on the trip Lomotey asked her about her relationship status, grabbed her wrist and locked the doors several times after she unlocked them. She said her shirt and bra were ripped during a struggle and she finally jumped from the moving vehicle, later recognizing Lomotey from news reports.

In the earlier case, authorities allege that after Lomotey picked two up women, one said he commented on their looks, said he was single and wanted to “get with them,” and he eventually pulled over and tried to lock the doors, but the women were able to get out.

Court documents don’t list an attorney for Lomotey, who earlier denied having tried to lock doors and called the first case “absurd.”

Uber called the alleged actions “unacceptable” and said the driver’s access to the app has been removed and the company would cooperate with investigating authorities. Penn State-Beaver confirmed that Lomotey is an assistant professor of information sciences and technology, but spokeswoman Kristen Doerschner said he was placed on leave. He was also listed as a part-time University of Pittsburgh instructor, but a spokesman said that while he taught classes during the spring semester he “is no longer under contract.”

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