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Akingbiwaju Joseph Opadele spent less than 37 minutes in jail after he was arrested Tuesday, accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl in the back of an ambulance in January, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police.
The 30-year-old man’s bond conditions effectively “allowed him to sign himself out” on an unsecured bond, said Chief Johnny Jennings at a news conference Thursday.
As a Fort Mill, S.C., paramedic, Opadele’s time in jail, Jennings said, was shorter than the amount of time it took the arresting officers to return to their desks.
The assault, according to police, happened as the girl, who experienced an unspecified medical problem, was being taken from Fort Mill to Atrium Health in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Jan. 17.
Opadele was charged with “sexual contact or penetration under the pretext of medical treatment,” police records show. The charge is a Class C felony.
North Carolina suggests Class C felony bail bonds be set between $75,000 and $150,000, and typical sentences for such felonies range from 44 to 182 months, according to state statutes.
With bail set at $15,000, Opadele spent 37 minutes in jail before posting bond Tuesday afternoon.
“We have to stop sometimes and ask ourselves what kind of message are we sending to our victims… when someone can do such a crime as this one and walk right out the door probably before our officers and our detectives even got back to their desks,” Jennings said.
Odapele will remain on administrative leave until the criminal investigation and prosecution is done, according to Will Terpening, Fort Mill EMS’ lawyer.
Fort Mill EMS is conducting its own internal investigation, Terpening said.
Information in this article was obtained via The Charlotte Observer.
This story is developing.