Despite efforts to change his guilty plea, a former emergency medical technician was sentenced Thursday for sexually assaulting a teenager while she was being transported for medical care.
David Carpio's attempt to back out of a plea agreement, which was denied by a judge, would have forced the teenager to again revisit the February 2017 assault, according to the victim's mother.
"Today was very hard because there is the side of it where we don't know if the motion to withdraw his plea would be granted or not and, if so, would there be victim impact statements," said the mother, who will not be identified in order to protect the identity of her daughter.
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Instead, the family feels a sense of relief that Caprio, who worked as an EMT for Balboa Ambulance Service, was sentenced to 10 years in prison with 10 years of probation for forcible penetration with a foreign object with one minor victim and sexual battery with another minor victim.
The plea agreement includes a requirement that Carpio register as a sex offender.
"I am so proud of my daughter. I am so proud of her. I can't tell you enough how proud I am of her for sticking through this," the mother said. "It was her that brought the other victims forward and you guys and your reporting helped bring that forward."
NBC 7 Investigates first reported criminal charges against Carpio in August 2018. Before accepting the terms of the plea agreement, Carpio faced nine felony counts of raping and molesting two additional underage girls.
The 15-year-old victim was being taken by ambulance in February 2017 when she was kissed on her neck while she was restrained, her mother said. Carpio also touched the teenager's breasts and underwear, the woman told NBC 7 Investigates.
The patient reported the assault to the staff at the hospital. Carpio was then arrested and later charged with lewd conduct on a minor.
After NBC 7 reported on the incident, two other victims came forward saying Carpio had also assaulted them. Those assaults, however, did not occur while Carpio was on the job.
Balboa Ambulance is also being sued in civil court for negligence and failing to conduct a proper background check.
Another company that employed Carpio for a brief time period in 2015, Care Medical Transportation, is being sued by the family for failure to report warning signs of Carpio's behaviors to San Diego County officials, which is a requirement by state law. The additional lawsuit was first reported by NBC 7 Investigates last week.
In a statement to NBC 7 following a previous story, a spokesperson for Balboa Ambulance wrote, “Balboa is cooperating with the investigation of the case. Unfortunately, Balboa is unable to comment on any specifics of this alleged incident due to the pending criminal and civil matters.”
During Carpio’s employment at Care Medical, which lasted less than two weeks, Carpio's co-workers filed four complaints against him for workplace sexual harassment and assault.
A civil lawsuit is also pending against Carpio.