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An ambulance represents hope for most people gripped by a serious and sometimes debilitating medical emergency. However, for Royshekka Herring, the ambulance was more dangerous to her safety and well-being than if she had just stayed home. In fact, a serial sex offender, who also happened to be the EMS worker, molested Herring while traveling in an emergency vehicle.

Last Wednesday, a Multnomah County, Oregon jury ordered the ambulance company—AMR Northwest—to pay Herring $2.25 million for the abuse she sustained while traveling in an ambulance in December 2007. The offender, Lannie Haszard is a serial sex predator, and according to Herring, stuck his hands down her pants twice while she was incapacitated in the ambulance. Herring maintains that she was semi-conscious and aware of the abuse, but was unable to move, speak or stop Haszard from molesting her. The 29-year-old single mother of three stated during the trial that she suffers from panic attacks, is afraid to leave her home, and experiences severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Since Herring came forward with the allegations, other women came forward to report that Haszard also abused them during an ambulance ride. Consequently, Haszard was sentenced in August 2008 to five years in prison for inappropriately touching four female patients. Moreover, four other women are suing the ambulance company and each case will be tried separately.

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