Former Madison YWCA driver charged with sex assault of passenger

MADISON (WKOW) — A former driver for Madison’s YWCA Empowerment Center was charged Thursday with second degree sexual assault after police alleged he sexually touched a cognitively-disabled woman during her transport in September.

A Dane County Court commissioner gave 53-year-old Dwain Sykes a signature bond after a hearing on the charge. Sykes declined comment to a 27 News reporter as he left the courthouse.

A criminal complaint says Sykes’ accuser told another driver Sykes had sexually touched her. The complaint states the woman says Sykes touched her private areas over her clothing as he drove the YWCA’s vehicle. The complaint says the woman pushed Sykes’ hand away and another passenger told him “…to put his hands back on the steering wheel on 10 and 2.”

Authorities say surveillance video on the vehicle confirms the touching.

In a statement, YWCA-Madison CEO Vanessa McDowell says Sykes was terminated from his job the day after the accusation against Sykes was made.

“The driver’s actions are not representative of the values of the YWCA Madison and were in direct violation of our code of conduct,” McDowell says. McDowell did not provide information on the length of Sykes’s tenure with the YWCA.

McDowell’s statement includes “…two riders” accused Sykes of touching them inappropriately. But the criminal complaint involves only one victim.

The complaint says Sykes was asked by a detective if he had touched the accuser inappropriately. ” ‘Yeah, I did, I shouldn’t have but I did,’ the complaint states he told the detective. ” ‘Sometimes she’d take my hand and sometimes I’d put my hand on her leg, but it was inappropriate, and I was wrong, and I apologize,’ ” the complaint quotes Sykes as saying. When asked the about the location of the touching, the complaint says Sykes identified a private area. ” ‘Well it was between her legs,’ ” the complaint says Sykes told the detective.

Authorities say Sykes was transporting the accuser and others in a van.

More at WKOW 27 News

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