GLOVERSVILLE – A former emergency medical technician for the Ambulance Service of Fulton County who also worked as a city firefighter was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in the Fulton County Jail for touching women in a sexual manner while they were being treated in an ambulance.
Donald Frye also was sentenced to three years of probation and must stay away from the victims for three years. He waived his right to appeal.
Frye was charged with two counts of forcible touching in two separate alleged incidents – one in 2011 and the other early this year – in which women told police they were touched in a sexual manner while they were patients in an ambulance.
The female victim from Jan. 17 alleged an EMT touched her breasts and other intimate areas of her body for no reason while she was in the back of an Ambulance Service of Fulton County ambulance. She told police the ambulance was on its way to Nathan Littauer Hospital.
Police said they determined the EMT was Frye.
Another woman reported an incident March 8, 2011, police said.
After receiving the second report, police reopened the first case, resulting in police filing two counts against Frye, police said.
Police Capt. John Sira said the facts in the first case weren’t substantial enough to warrant charges in 2011.
During the investigation, police said, they learned about another similar incident involving Frye outside the city.
Police said the incident involved a complaint to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department.
Frye was sentenced based on one charge.
District Attorney Louise Sira said the maximum sentence for the charge could have been 60 days in jail and three years of probation.
“It is not uncommon for somebody to plead to one [charge] in full satisfaction provided the other victims getting an order [of protection],” Sira said.
The attorney representing Frye, Peter J. Moschetti Jr. of Latham, said his client’s sentence was “pretty straight forward.” He declined further comment.
Mayor Dayton King said the Fire Department placed Frye on leave without pay Feb. 7 for 30 days, but because of civil service law, Frye was put on paid leave in March.
However, King said, Frye officially resigned from the Fire Department in June.
City Finance Commissioner Bruce VanGenderen said Frye’s annual salary at the Fire Department was $49,545.
“I think at any time the men and women employed by the city or any government are really entrusted by our citizens and we go through background checks and do as much as we can to prevent these types of things from happening, as soon as we found there were these allegations, we took the right steps,” King said. “I certainly don’t think that he represents the rest of that Fire Department. I think the men and women that work there are good people, and I don’t believe you will see any more of that coming out. However, at the end of the day, people certainly make their own decisions.”
Howard Hime, manager of the Ambulance Service of Fulton County, said Frye was terminated after he was arrested.
“He hasn’t worked for us in a long while,” Hime said. “After a while, we just let him go.”
Hime declined further comments about Frye.
Frye was arrested Jan. 30 and released on his own recognizance.
After his sentencing Wednesday by City Court Judge Joan Antonik, Frye was taken into custody by court security officers to begin his jail sentence.