Connecticut Paramedic Facing Rape Charges

A Connecticut paramedic is facing felony rape charges after a patient alleged she was sexually assaulted during a transport. Paramedic Mark Powell, 49, turned himself in to police yesterday.

The incident allegedly occurred at 3:00 am on Christmas morning. A 22 year old woman who had fallen and suffered a concussion claims she awoke in the ambulance during the assault.  The victim was being transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital and allegedly was strapped down at the time.

Powell worked for American Medical Response, and has been place on administrative leave. He is free on$25,000 bond. According to police, no further arrests are anticipated.

The police and media seem to have already concluded that Powell is guilty. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that fact that other paramedics and EMTs accused of this type of misconduct were later cleared when the allegations turned out to be the result of total fabrications. The legal system will have to work out the details in this case and we should not prejudge what occurred without all the facts. Having said that – here is a news video that pretty much assumes he is guilty.

Woman claims she was raped in ambulance:

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
  • jason

    is it possible that the standards and specifications of ambulances have resulted in a detrimental side effect which isolates the care provider from his/her partner that is driving. in the past, rigs had an opening between the patient compartment and the crew compartment. now, it is a solid wall with a small window that may or may not open. Not only does it provide an opportunity for a crime to be committed (assault, robbery) but does it also allows for an inherent opportunity for false accusations based on the lack of a credible witness?

    • Jason

      Interesting observation. Hopefully the solution does not require a 3rd person on every transport of a female by an all male crew (or even where the attendant in male). Even a third person is no guaranty against an allegation.

    • Jon

      what do you mean by a credible witness? Why are you assuming that a patient is automatically not a credible witness. That’s pretty presumptious of how EMS providers perceive the general public.

  • Curt- what do you think of using video cameras in the back of an ambulance to monitor the patient and crew? I know that this is a lot different than having a dash-cam in a police car, but video surveillance is proliferating rapidly. Could it end up in an ambulance? Could we get Am-cams?

  • Anthony

    I suppose it is doable, but there would have to be very strict controls on the images taken, warning signs to inform patients/passengers that they are being recorded, etc. The images may be relevant to future legal proceedings so they would have to be maintained – they would probably be exempt from public records laws to the extent they contain protected medical info. One can envision a small buracracy being required to manage the video collection.

    • This could create a whole new level of problems with leaked videos and all the other problems that go along videos and general.

      • The cure could be worse than the disease…


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