N.C. EMT arrested, accused of sexually assaulting teen patient
The EMT bonded out of jail after only 37 minutes. “What kind of message are we sending?” asked Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings.
By Leila Merrill
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — After a Fort Mill EMT was arrested on a felony charge of sexual contact under the pretext of medical treatment and released on bond, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings publicly objected to his $15,000 bond, WBTV reported last week.
The EMT, identified as Akingbiwaju Joseph Opadele, is accused of assaulting a teenage patient while she was in the back of a Fort Mill EMS ambulance.
Opadele allegedly put his hands in the pants of a 17-year-old girl, sexually assaulting her when they were alone in the back of a Fort Mill EMS ambulance. The crew was transporting her to a hospital in Charlotte. She reported the incident to hospital staff.
“At the time of the incident, Fort Mill EMS immediately placed the employee on administrative leave pending the outcome of the criminal investigation and prosecution,” said Tim McMichael, Fort Mill EMS chief.
“The type of medical episode that the victim was experiencing did not necessitate any touching of that area for medical treatment purposes,” CMPD Major Melanie Peacock said.
Opadele was released on a $15,000 bond after being held in jail for 37 minutes.
“What kind of message are we sending to our victims, our most vulnerable people within our society?” Jennings asked.
To address such instances, the Pre-Trial Integrity Act is being pursued in the state legislature.
“The concept is we take some of these difficult decisions out of the hands of the magistrates and allow the judges to make those calls as far as pre-trial is concerned, so I think that put another layer of accountability into the system,” he said.