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Massachusetts arrest, conviction lead to more issues on Cape Cod

A Massachusetts paramedic that pleaded guilty in Aug. 2012 to possessing child pornography now faces additional legal problems related to his conviction. The criminal case grew out of a police investigation that commenced in 2009. A search warrant executed at the home of a 24-year-old man and resulted in his arrest. He was subsequently indicted on 58 counts.

Based upon his guilty plea, the man was sentenced to five years of probation. He was also banned from employment that would cause him to interact with minors regularly. Additionally, he was registered as a sex offender with the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board, though it was not clear if he was listed as a Level 1 or a Level 2 offender.

The Code of Massachusetts Regulations requires that paramedics and other emergency first responders must notify the Department of Public Health of a criminal conviction within five days of its entry. The formal notification must be in writing. It was not done in this instance, and the convicted man apparently continued to work for a private ambulance service within the state. A Cape Cod newspaper notified the DPH in Dec. 2012, resulting in an investigation and suspension of the man's paramedic license in Jan. 2013. In the interim, the man had petitioned the court to amend his sentence, though that matter appears to have been indefinitely suspended in light of the license suspension.

Following this man's arrest and conviction, the criminal court delineated the sentencing terms. As a result of those terms, another Massachusetts law came into play. While the man sought to avoid suspension of his paramedic's license by applying to the court for a sentencing modification, the time limit for DPH notification expired. The issues that arose underscore the importance of considering all potential consequences of a plea bargain before making a formal agreement. In this instance, the criminal conviction required notification under a separate statute and likely could not have been avoided in the absence of a dismissal of the charges or acquittal after trial.

Source: CapeCodOnline.com, "Cape paramedic concealed sex offender status," Steve Doane, Feb. 6, 2013

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