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Paramedic accused of sexual assault inside ambulance

By Dan Verello, CNN
updated 6:59 AM EST, Mon January 9, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Police say the paramedic sexually assaulted a woman in the back of an ambulance
  • The woman, 22, was being transported after hitting her head on Christmas Day
  • Mark Powell has been released on $25,000 bond; court appearance set for January 19
  • It is unclear whether Powell, 49, has retained legal counsel

(CNN) -- A Connecticut paramedic has been charged in the alleged sexual assault last month of a woman who was only semiconscious in the back of an ambulance, according to police.

Mark Powell, 49, was charged with first-degree sexual assault and unlawful restraint after he turned himself over to authorities Thursday, according to Hamden Police Capt. Ronald Smith.

Smith said the 22-year-old woman received emergency medical treatment after hitting her head on Christmas Day and was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital. It was during that time in the ambulance that the alleged victim, who was strapped to a stretcher, was assaulted, Smith said, citing the woman's account.

The woman said she waited three days to report the incident because she was embarrassed and afraid, according to Smith.

The American Medical Response released a statement earlier this week saying that Powell has been placed on administrative leave.

"AMR takes very seriously our responsibility to provide safe care and transport for our patients, and we do not tolerate any kind of abusive behavior," said Charles Babson, General Manager of American Medical Response.

Powell has been released on $25,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court January 19.

It is unclear whether he has retained legal counsel.

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