Utica Firefighter Ordered To Provide DNA Sample

An Oneida County Court Judge has ordered a Utica firefighter to provide a DNA sample as an investigation to sexual misconduct at a fire station continues.

According to Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara, “a female (firefighter) went out on a call, and when she returned she found ejaculate on an extra pair of her pants.” According to papers filed with the court the substance was confirmed to be semen.

While no charges have been filed in the case, other firefighters at the station submitted to DNA tests, except for Firefighter Richard Forte. On Friday, March 9, 2018, Judge Michael Dwyer ordered Forte to provide a DNA sample.

Forte’s attorney, Anthony LaFache, told the Observer-Dispatch that he plans to seek a stay of Judge Dwyer’s order and if necessary file an appeal. LaFache claims the State lacks probable cause to connect his client to the alleged act. He also questions the severity of the offense in terms of warranting court ordered DNA testing.

Citing the court order, the Observer-Dispatch quoted Judge Dwyer as saying: “The mere fact that the crime is a misdemeanor does not mean it is not serious.” More on the story.

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.
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