Former Mississippi paramedic pleads guilty to sexual assaulting patients in ambulances

Published 12:26 pm Tuesday, May 10, 2022

A former Mississippi paramedic has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting patients in ambulances as they were being taken to hospitals.

The Sun Herald reported James Lavelle Walley, 57, of Leakesville, also admitted to fondling two children, ages 5 to 7. Walley pleaded guilty Monday to three counts of sexual battery and two counts of touching a child for lustful purposes.

District Attorney Angel Myers McIlrath said Walley committed the crimes between 2016 and 2019 while working as a certified paramedic for ASAP Ambulance. The company serves patients in Alabama and Mississippi, and it fired him.

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Circuit Judge Robert Krebs will set sentencing later. Walley faces up to 30 years in prison on each sexual battery charge and 15 years on each molestation charge.

Each time the assaults occurred in an ambulance, Walley was in the back, the ambulance drivers did nothing to intervene and they denied knowledge of the attacks, court records showed.

Walley had no criminal history before his arrest.

More details were revealed in civil lawsuits filed on behalf of at least adults who said Walley assaulted them during emergency trips to south Mississippi hospitals. The civil cases have been settled and dismissed.

“When we get in an ambulance, we expect to be taken care of, not sexually assaulted,” attorney Joe Beard, who represented some of the plaintiffs in the civil suits, said Monday after hearing Walley had pleaded guilty to criminal charges.

In each criminal case, victims are described as vulnerable adults because they had a medical condition that required emergency care when Walley attacked them.