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January 24, 2003

Man convicted of fondling 82-year-old woman in ambulance

From: Kansas City Star, MO - 24 Jan 2003

The Kansas City Star

A former ambulance worker was found guilty today of fondling an 82-year-old patient.

Michael D. Moore pleaded no contest in Johnson County District Court to a felony charge of aggravated sexual battery. District Judge James Franklin Davis then found him guilty and scheduled sentencing for March 25.

Moore, 42, had admitted to Olathe Police Det. Jenny Morgan that he touched the woman inappropriately last March, according to earlier court testimony.

The victim, who is deaf, testified through a sign language interpreter at a preliminary hearing in July that she was taken to the hospital after a fall in the Olathe nursing home where she lived.

Doctors placed her arm in a sling and she was being returned home by private ambulance when her breast was groped. She repeatedly said no, the woman testified.

"He was very stubborn. He wouldn't stop," she said.

Moore had faced a similar allegation before, but no criminal charges were filed, according to court documents filed by Assistant District Attorney Scott Toth.

If the case had gone to trial, Davis was going to allow Toth to present testimony about a 1997 incident in Platte County involving an 86-year-old woman.

The woman also was being transported after a fall when Moore allegedly fondled her breasts during the ambulance ride.

A former co-worker also told investigators that Moore made frequent "lewd sexual remarks about patients."

Toth also filed notice that if Moore was convicted, he would ask that his sentence be doubled because of the victim's vulnerability.

Moore's attorney, Carl Cornwell, said the possibility of the doubled sentence and the evidence of the previous alleged incident played a role in Moore's consideration of the plea agreement.

Because he pleaded without going to trial, Toth cannot seek the doubled sentence.

Under sentencing guidelines, Moore faces a sentence ranging from 31 months to a little more than 11 years in prison depending on the extent of any prior criminal history.

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