A 30-year-old paramedic affiliated with Fort Mill EMS is accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl in the back of an ambulance, according to an arrest warrant.
The teen victim told police that on Jan. 17, Akingbiwaju Joseph Opadele, of Concord, forcibly fondled her while she was incapacitated in an ambulance on the way from Fort Mill to Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center.
Opadele, who is no longer active with Fort Mill EMS, was arrested on Monday and charged with “sexual contact or penetration under the pretext of medical treatment.”
He is out of jail on a bond that was set at $15,000.
“37 minutes. That is how long it took for a Fort Mill paramedic to be released from jail after being arrested by CMPD and charged with the sexual assault of a 17-year-old patient,” Jennings tweeted. “He was released on a $15k unsecured bond. What message are we sending to the most vulnerable in our society? I look forward to continued work on the Pretrial Integrity Act to bring greater accountability to pretrial release conditions.”
in our society? I look forward to continued work on the Pretrial Integrity Act to bring greater accountability to pretrial release conditions. (2/2)
— Chief Jennings (@cmpdchief) March 9, 2023
Jennings said cases, such as this, are an assault on community safety.
“It’s difficult from our position to let our people know what a great job they are doing and that they are making a difference and when something like this happens, it is a reality check for many of us,” the police chief said.
Officials have not said how long Opadele had been affiliated with Fort Mill EMS.
Channel 9 spoke with people who were in disbelief after hearing about the accusation.
“It’s shocking to think that a trusted person of the community could do such a thing,” said Ellen Smith, a local resident. “I mean, when you get in an ambulance, you’re thinking you’re safe.”
“My goodness. What a betrayal of trust for someone who is in that kind of position to take advantage,” said Phill Litteer, another local resident.
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