DALLAS-- Uber was off the road and in a Dallas courtroom Tuesday as the company and a local driver faced a million dollar sexual assault lawsuit.
A rider claims her ride with Talal Chammout in 2015 ended horrifically after he followed her inside her home, hit her on the back of the head, and then assaulted her.
During opening statements, the prosecutors' message was clear:
"As you listen to the case that we present today and tomorrow, I want you to keep that adage: actions speak louder than words. Because if you remember when we discussed the law, consent isn't about the words you use; especially when you're talking about a situation where someone is intoxicated," said Trey Stock with the Dallas County District Attorney's Office.
Still, Uber and Chammout pleaded not guilty today, with the defense attorneys claiming the case is just a lie to cover up an act of cheating.
"Talal got caught in the crossfire of very rocky relationship. You heard the state say it," Chammout's attorney Katherine Devlin said.
Beyond the scope of the crime, there are a lot of raised eyebrows when it comes to this case.
First of all, Chammout technically shouldn't have even been driving for Uber because he was using a fake driving permit from the city of Dallas. He also has a criminal record; including a felony for possession of firearms.
Now, Uber Is trying to be proactive, in hopes of preventing this type of oversight from happening again. Just before the trial began, the ride-share company released details on their updated sexual assault and harassment policy which now gives more transparency to the victims.
As the trial proceeds, Chammout's fate and Uber's reputation lie in the hands of the jury.