A Waterloo Taxi driver who masturbated while an intoxicated passenger occupied the back seat of his cab is embarrassed and ashamed by the incident, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Jafar Zamel was sentenced to two years’ probation for committing an indecent act in May 2013, in a parking lot in Waterloo.

Court heard that the female passenger had exposed herself prior to Zamel’s act, and the two had engaged in a sexual conversation.

Zamel, 49, had been suspended from Waterloo Taxi since the charges were laid. He is studying for a PhD in history at Queen’s University.

“He’s a fine person who acted out the way he did for some reason,” Justin Gary Hearn said Tuesday.

“He has to figure out why it took place.”

In response to Zamel’s case and several other allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against local cab drivers, Waterloo Taxi and other local cab companies have installed cameras in their fleets.

The Waterloo Taxi Alliance has also worked with the Sexual Assault Support Centre to create a webinar educating drivers about sexual misconduct.

“It’s mandatory for anyone in Waterloo Region that drives a taxi,” said Peter Neufeld, head of the alliance and president of Waterloo Taxi.

Zamel was also charged with sexual assault, but that charge was dropped after a judge found a lack of evidence suggesting a sexual assault took place.