A former employee of a San Diego ambulance company pleaded guilty Tuesday to sexually assaulting a minor while she was being transported for medical care.
David Carpio once worked as an EMT for Balboa Ambulance Service. As he went on trial for nine felony counts of raping and molesting two additional underage girls, Carpio accepted the terms of a plea agreement.
In exchange for pleading guilty to forcible penetration with a foreign object with one minor victim and sexual battery with another minor victim, he agreed to a 10-year stipulated sentence.
He must serve more than eight years of the sentence and register as a sex offender with the state according to one attorney.
One victim, a 15-year-old girl who was being taken by ambulance in February 2017, was kissed on her neck while she was restrained, her mother said. Carpio also touched the teenager's breasts and underwear, the woman told NBC 7 Investigates.
The patient reported the assault to staff at the hospital. Carpio was then arrested and later charged with lewd conduct on a minor.
“Mortified -- I was mortified. You know, you're supposed to have your daughter feel safe when she's in an ambulance,” the mother told NBC 7 Investigates. “You don't ever think that would happen.”
During the interview with NBC 7, the girl’s mother said Carpio told her daughter that she was not his only victim.
After the NBC 7 report, two other victims came forward. The assaults on them, however, did not occur while Carpio was on the job.
"He did plead to a felony charge for what he did to my client. Which was touching under fraud posing as a medical examination when it was not," said attorney Jessica Pride, who represents the victim in the ambulance in a civil case.
"The family is thrilled that she did not have to take the stand today and that he didn’t put her through that," Pride said.
The civil case against Carpio and Balboa Ambulance was on hold until after the criminal trial.
However, Pride said her client was brave to come forward.
“We just keep telling her how amazing and courageous she is because she spoke up and NBC 7 ran the story. As a result, the other girls came forward and they were able to stop him to make sure that nobody else is going to get hurt,“ the attorney said.
In a statement to NBC 7 following a previous story, a spokesperson for Balboa Ambulance wrote, “Balboa is cooperating with the investigation of the case. Unfortunately, Balboa is unable to comment on any specifics of this alleged incident due to the pending criminal and civil matters.”
Carpio is no longer employed as an EMT. He is out on bail until his sentencing which is scheduled for November 4.