A longtime OSF PRO Ambulance paramedic was arrested on Monday for allegedly sexually assaulting a patient during an ambulance ride to OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center last summer. 47-year-old Jeffrey Sanford Jr. has been charged with two counts of criminal sexual assault.
One of the counts alleges the use of force and the other alleges that the victim was incapable of consent. Sanford could face four to 15 years in prison if convicted.
The alleged sexual assault happened on July 22, 2019. At About 3:40 a.m. that morning, police responded to OSF Hear of Mary Medical Center in Urbana on reports of a sexual assault. After arriving, a woman told deputies that Sanford had forced her to perform oral sex on him in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.
Police interviewed both the 48-year-old woman and Sanford, who denied the allegations. The woman underwent a sexual assault kit and DNA swabs were taken from Sanford.
The results of these tests were recently returned from the Illinois State Crime lab, which showed a match between the sexual assault kit and Sanford’s DNA.
During his court appearance on Monday, Sanford told the judge that he lost his job after being charged. His bond was set at $75,000 and he was denied a request for a public defender.
Attorney Brian Kent is an experienced sexual assault victims lawyer who has represented many victims in civil lawsuits. Here are some of Brian’s thoughts on the legal rights of those who have been sexually assaulted by paramedics in ambulances:
Paramedics are trusted to care for injured people at the scene and in ambulances on their way to hospitals and other medical facilities. While most paramedics are trustworthy people, there have also been reports of paramedics sexually assaulting patients in ambulances. The victims of these heinous crimes should be aware of their legal rights.
Reporting a sexual assault by a paramedic to the police will result in a criminal investigation, which is an important part of the justice process. But in some cases, victims may have further grounds for legal recourse by filing a civil lawsuit against the paramedic and possibly the paramedic’s employer is negligence played a role in the assault.
For example, a hospital or ambulance company could be held liable for a paramedic sexual assault if they failed to run a background check that could have revealed a history of sexual misconduct before hiring the paramedic.
If you or a loved one is a victim of sexual assault by a paramedic, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. You can learn more about your legal options by contacting our experienced sexual assault victims lawyers for a free consultation.