A paramedic for a Madison-based private ambulance service was charged Monday with sexual assault of a woman who said the man had inappropriate sexual contact with her and exposed himself to her while she was strapped to a gurney during an ambulance ride.
Timothy E. Ovadal, 36, of Madison, was charged with second-degree sexual assault, a felony, and fourth-degree sexual assault, a misdemeanor. A woman who was transported on May 8 by Ryan Brothers Ambulance from St. Mary’s Hospital in Janesville to Stoughton Hospital told police the man touched her breasts and put his mouth on one of them in the back of an ambulance, according to a criminal complaint filed in Dane County Circuit Court.
The complaint states that after arriving at Stoughton Hospital, the woman became increasingly emotional as she answered standard questions from a nurse, then reported the alleged assault.
Ovadal appeared in court Monday, where he was released on a signature bond. He was ordered by Court Commissioner Mark Fremgen to have no contact with the woman and was ordered not to work in health care in any capacity.
Ryan Brothers co-owner Patrick Ryan said the company would have no comment while the case was pending.
According to the complaint:
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The woman told Dane County Sheriff’s Deputy Benjamin Wepfer she was wrapped in blankets “like a burrito” and was strapped to the gurney with straps in a zig-zag pattern from her toes to her chest, but she could move her arms and hands.
About 20 minutes after leaving Janesville, she said, a male paramedic riding with her, later identified through ambulance run records as Ovadal, reached over and started to take EKG patches off her collarbone, then began to fondle her breasts, which she described as “humiliating.” She said she was “shocked when he did this,” but didn’t physically try to stop him.
“I really should have yelled to the female driver about this or did something about it like that, but I was too shocked and scared,” she told Wepfer.
Later, she told police, Ovadal exposed himself to her and “whispered several dirty things in my ear.”
Ovadal, interviewed by police, denied sexual contact with the woman or exposing himself. A search warrant filed in May states that Ovadal confirmed he touched the woman’s right breast while removing the EKG patches, which he said would leave his DNA on her. He said he did paperwork in a seat while the woman fell asleep, the search warrant states.
But tests of samples from the woman’s right breast, along with DNA samples from the woman and from Ovadal, showed there was likely saliva on the woman’s breast, the complaint states.