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‘Deplorable Violation Of Trust’: Cops Say North Carolina Paramedic Sexually Assaulted 17-Year-Old In Back Of Ambulance

nc paramedic sexually assaulted teen in back of ambulance
Source: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police; Unsplash

Mar. 15 2023, Published 3:55 p.m. ET

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A paramedic in North Carolina has been arrested after he allegedly sexually assaulted a 17-year-old female in the back of an ambulance while they were en route to a hospital, officials said.

On Jan. 17, the teenager was “experiencing a medical episode” and was heading to a hospital in Charlotte in the ambulance, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police.

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Upon arrival at the medical facility, the victim told hospital staff that she was sexually assaulted during the trip, police said.

Authorities said 31-year-old Akingbiwaju Joseph Opadele, who was employed as a paramedic with Fort Hill EMS, was the only person in the back of the ambulance at the time of the alleged incident.

The teen was treated for her “medical episode” and also received a sexual assault kit and examination, investigators said.

Detectives used analysis from the kit as well as testimony and other evidence to obtain an arrest warrant for Opadele, according to officials.

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The suspect was arrested on March 7 and charged with felony sexual contact under pretext of medical treatment. He was released the same day on a $15,000 bond, police said.

In a news briefing, Maj. Melanie Peacock said the victim told police Opadele put his hands in her pants and sexually assaulted her, but “the type of medical episode she was suffering from did not necessitate any touching."

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Peacock added: "This case is particularly disturbing given it involves a person in a position of medical authority preying upon a patient suffering a medical episode. I can’t think of anything that’s more of a deplorable violation of trust."

Opadele was placed on administrative leave from the ambulance service, officials said.


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