Fort Mill EMT charged with sexually assaulting a minor in ambulance

The girl was being transported from South Carolina when the alleged assault happened.
Akingbiwaju Opadele is accused of sexually assaulting a minor in an ambulance.
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 9:30 PM EST
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FORT MILL, S.C. (WBTV) - An EMT is facing charges after he was accused of sexually assaulting a minor in an ambulance.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said the alleged assault happened while the ambulance was in Mecklenburg County in January.

Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office records show that the man, identified as Akingbiwaju Opadele, was arrested March 7. He was charged with felony sexual contact under pretext of medical treatment and given a $15,000 bond.

Jail records show he has since bonded out about 37 minutes later.

“What message are we sending to the most vulnerable in our society?” CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings tweeted out following a press conference with the department.

Watch: CMPD press conference regarding the alleged assault

The girl was being transported from South Carolina when the alleged assault happened and told hospital staff about the assault.

Fort Mill EMS provided a statement on the incident on Thursday afternoon.

The statement reads:

“Fort Mill EMS principally wants to emphasize that we prioritize patient safety. We prioritized patient safety before this incident, we are handling the incident in a way that ensures we will continue to prioritize patient safety, and we will always prioritize patient safety.

Fort Mill EMS is a non-profit provider of emergency services and transport to local medical facilities. It is subject to strict confidentiality obligations regarding privacy of the patients and its employees. As such, we are limited in what we can disclose at this time.

Throughout the investigation, Fort Mill EMS has respected the rights and obligations of the accusing patient and the authorities, all patients and the community, and its employee. Most importantly, we have continued to prioritize the safety of the patients we care for.

With respect to the ongoing safety and wellbeing of all patients and the community: 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. We have always maintained strict procedures for screening and monitoring employees. We provide a vital and scarce service to the community. We handled 4,526 emergency dispatches in 2022 and have provided a high level of service for decades. In all that time, this is the first instance of any criminal accusation against an employee related to their service.

With respect to the patient and the investigation: Fort Mill EMS has cooperated with the authorities, including CMPD and the South Carolina DHEC Bureau of EMS, and will continue to do so. This has included voluntarily and promptly submitting to requests for interviews and information. In addition, we are in the process of conducting our own thorough internal investigation.

With respect to the employee: Fort Mill EMS lacks information to take a position on his guilt or innocence. Under our justice system, the accused are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. While that process is running its course, the employee is not at work. Once his guilt or innocence is determined and our own internal investigation has concluded, we will act accordingly. At all times, however, we will continue to put our patients’ wellbeing first, in keeping with our seven decades of excellent and unblemished service to the community.”

This is a developing story and more information will be provided as it becomes available.

(NOTE: Bold added for emphasis)

Anyone with information is asked to call Charlotte-Mecklenburg CrimeStoppers at 704-334-1600.

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