CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – A paramedic was arrested after sexually assaulting a 17-year-old female being rushed to a local hospital in an ambulance after experiencing a ‘medical episode,’ according to CMPD.

Akingbiwaju Opadele, 31, was charged with felony sexual contact under the pretext of medical treatment on March 7, 2023, and released on a $15,000 unsecured bond that same day.

Police say the incident happened on Jan. 17, 2023, after the victim experienced a medical emergency and was being taken to Atrium Main in Charlotte by Fort Mill Medical Services.

Upon arrival at the hospital, the teen told staff Opadele sexually assaulted her while in the back of the ambulance during the drive. Investigation revealed they were the only people in that area of the vehicle at that time.

“The victim reported that the suspect placed his hands inside her pants and sexually assaulted her,” said Maj. Melanie Peacock. “The type of medical episode that the victim was experiencing did not necessitate any touching of that area for medical treatment purposes.”

Authorities said the victim was treated for her medical episode, given a sex assault kit, and examined at Atrium Main; laboratory analysis from the kit, physical evidence, and witness testimony revealed the probable cause to charge Opadele.

Akingbiwaju Joseph Opadele (Courtesy: CMPD)

A warrant was issued, and Opadele was apprehended at a home on March 7, 2023, and released 37 minutes after his unsecured bond was issued.

“37 minutes. I want you to think about how short of a time period 37 minutes is,” said CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings. “I think it’s important that we have to stop sometimes and ask ourselves, ‘what kind of message are we sending to our victims?'”

A media briefing was held at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 9, 2023, regarding the case:

This case remains active and ongoing.