PITTSBURGH — Prosecutors have dropped all charges against a former Pennsylvania paramedic accused of sexually assaulting a mentally disabled woman inside an ambulance.
Parker Foster Jr., 51, of Greensburg, was scheduled for trial Thursday when the Allegheny County district attorney’s office announced it was dropping all charges, which included rape of a mentally disabled person and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse of a mentally disabled person.
“In interviewing the victim prior to trial, she provided information that made it impossible for us to sustain our burden of proof,” district attorney spokesman Mike Manko said in an emailed statement.
Manko declined to detail the information from the interview, but did confirm authorities are not investigating whether the woman’s report was false.
“There’s no other investigation going on,” Manko said.
Foster’s attorney, Patrick Thomassey, said Verona police were simply wrong to charge Foster under sexual assault laws that alleged the woman was too disabled to legally consent to sex. Such laws were meant to prevent profoundly disabled people from being victimized by caregivers and others, Thomassey said.
“She’s married. If you can consent to get married and all the things that go along with it, you can consent to have a little fling with my client,” Thomassey said.
Verona police described the woman as extremely vulnerable to being influenced and said she called Foster after he offered to take her to get ice cream. Foster allegedly groped the woman and forced her to perform a sex act Jan. 25, then later kissed and groped the woman after changing a bandage on her arm and checking her blood pressure inside an ambulance.
The woman told police Foster did that after she told him she’d never seen the inside of an ambulance.
“There was no force at all, it was all consensual,” said Thomassey, who praised the DA for making the “tough” but “right” call to drop the charges.
Verona police Chief Ronald McLemore declined comment.
Thomassey said he’s hoping to get Foster’s job back with Guardian Angel Ambulance Service.