A paramedic raped a woman as she lay unconscious and strapped to a stretcher in the back of an ambulance on the way to a hospital, police said Friday.
If you haven’t read the story of a Conn. Paramedic Accused of Sexual Assault you should. The article published by the Associated Press leaves a bit to be desired, but the article found on a local news source paints a little bit of a better picture and has video of the interview with police officials.
I’m not particularly pleased with the reporting of this story as pretty much every news outlet involved has tried and found this paramedic to be guilty. But then again, objective reporting is rarity these days so I shouldn’t be all that surprised. What’s more upsetting, is the comments provided by the local police department and his own employer:
“The allegations in this case represent outrageous and horrifying conduct by an emergency medical professional,” Wydra said. “Our society places the greatest level of trust and confidence in its public safety providers, and the circumstances in this case reflect a tremendous breach of that faith.
This quote from the police chief is something that I would expect AFTER a guilty verdict. In the event that new evidence clears this medics name or if he is found to be not-guilty, will the police chief issue an apology? Probably not. The problem with this kind of reporting is that it essentially destroys his reputation, whether or not he is guilty. He may very well be innocent and have his charges dropped, but these articles will remain and will ultimately cause trouble for him when he applies for jobs, school, etc.
Having worked as a supervisor for a rather large ambulance service, I fielded more complaints than I can count. Some of them were legitimate and many were bogus. On several occasions, I had employees accused of assault, battery, theft, and even sexual assault. In fact, I even know of one paramedic that was arrested due to allegations of sexual assault on a minor. His name was dragged around through the mud until the charges were dropped due to several inconsistencies in the “victim’s” stories. He was cleared back to work, but the allegations haunted him for years later.
I try to look at cases like this with an open mind. I know that while the over-whelming majority of EMS professionals are honest people, we still have a few bad eggs circulating out there. However, I can’t ignore the fact that we often transport less-than-honest individuals. I’m not saying the accuser in this situation isn’t honest. For all I know, she may be telling to truth. From my personal experience, allegations of illegal activity are more often than not found to be bogus. I’m very curious as to what evidence was sufficient enough to issue an arrest warrant.
There are several questions that aren’t being answered, and probably won’t be until the case reaches trial. Allegations alone aren’t enough for me to formulate an opinion on what happened.
A few things I want know:
- What was the transport time?
-Was there enough time for this to actually take place?
- Did the partner witness anything?
-I can’t imagine that a woman waking up to being raped would go unnoticed by the paramedic’s partner.
- Was the patient under the influence of alcohol or drugs?
-This alone doesn’t prove innocence or guilt, but it’s an important thing to evaluate when investigating these cases.
- Does the paramedic in question have any prior complaints or reprimands for similar incidents?
-When things like this come to light (assuming it’s true), it’s rarely the first time.
“While being transported to the hospital, she awoke in the ambulance to find an AMR employee sexually assaulting her,” Smith said. Because the woman was strapped to the stretcher, she could neither move nor speak, he said. “She was helpless at the time of the assault,” he said.