Ambulance Attendants Accused of Molesting Patients
Some ambulance attendants may have molested patients, an investigation reveals.
Dec. 11, 2008— -- DALLAS (AP) - They answer the call 24-7, often risking their ownsafety to rescue the sick and injured and rush them to thehospital. But some paramedics have been more predator than hero.
Over the past 18 months, at least 129 ambulance attendantsacross the U.S. have been accused of sex-related crimes on duty oroff, an investigation by The Associated Press found. Some of themmolested patients in the back of an ambulance.
"It's a dream job for a sexual predator," said Greg Kafoury, aPortland, Ore., lawyer who represents three women who were gropedby a paramedic. "Everything is there: Women who are incapacitated,so they're hugely distracted. Medical cover to put your hands inplaces where, in any other context, a predator would be immediatelyrecognized as such."
Across the U.S., emergency medical technicians have been accusedin recent months of such crimes as rape, soliciting minors over theInternet and possession of child porn, according to an AP survey ofthe state agencies that oversee those professions.
Exactly how many of these EMTs were alleged to have committedtheir crimes on the job is unclear. But some of more shocking casesinclude:
- A Standish, Mich., paramedic sent to prison in March formolesting a girl who was on her way to the hospital after she wasinjured at her 15th birthday party.
- A Pinellas County, Fla., paramedic arrested in July after heallegedly sexually assaulted a woman in an ambulance en route to ahospital.
- A Chester County, Pa., paramedic sentenced in July to up to 20years in prison for engaging in sex and providing alcohol toteenagers he befriended through their interest in emergency medicalservice.
- A Copperas Cove, Texas, paramedic awaiting trial in January oncharges he exposed and touched an 18-year-old accident victim'sbreasts while pretending to tend to her injuries.
- A Chattanooga, Tenn., EMT accused in a lawsuit of giving a30-year-old woman an extra dose of morphine and then completelyundressing her in the back of an ambulance even though her injurieswere minor.