A Connecticut paramedic is accused of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman in the back of an ambulance. Mark Powell, age 52, fondled the patient after she suffered a head injury on Christmas morning, 2011. The 22-year-old woman said Powell was touching her breasts and genitalia when she regained consciousness.
The woman, whose identity was not revealed, was dancing when she fell and hit her head on a mirror. Authorities said she was unconscious when paramedics responded to the scene. In addition to her head injury, the victim was further incapacitated as she had been drinking.
As reported by San Francisco Gate, Mark Powell took advantage of the situation. While riding to the hospital, the American Medical Response paramedic sexually assaulted the woman in the back of the ambulance.
Three days later, the woman reported the incident to authorities. When questioned about the assault, Mark Powell initially stated that he “accidentally” touched the victim’s breasts and genitalia. He later explained that he was attempting to “apply pain stimuli to elicit a response or wake” the patient.
Although he denied the sexual assault, the paramedic eventually admitted that “made a very bad judgement call.” Despite his explanation, Powell was arrested and charged with first degree sexual assault.
On Wednesday, Mark Powell entered a guilty plea to a lesser charge of second degree sexual assault. As outlined in the plea agreement, Powell will serve 3½ years in prison. He will remain on probation for 10 years following his release. Powell will also be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
As reported by New Haven Register, the victim has suffered deeply as a result of the paramedic’s sexual assault. She discusses her ongoing trauma in her statement to the court:
“… [He] decided he can use this very private venue to his sick benefit and sexually violate me while being restrained… Forever, this family holiday celebrating the birth of Christ is a reminder of my sexual assault… He was very comfortable in his decision to ruin my life.”
Superior Court Judge Patrick J. Clifford condemned the assault as “extreme, perverted behavior.” Although he sentenced Powell to 10 years, the majority of the sentence was suspended.
Attorney Norm Pattis, who represents the defendant, said Mark Powell “knows he made a mistake.” However, he suggests the victim was confused. Following the sentencing hearing, Pattis said he does not “know what happened, nor does the victim.”
Although Pattis continues to defend his client’s actions, the paramedic was found guilty of sexual assault.
[Images via Bossip and Scottys Lift]