A Portland, Ore., rape victim is suing a local ambulance paramedic who posted details about the attack on his MySpace Internet page.
She contends the paramedic invaded her privacy by posting the approximate location, what she said about her knife-wielding assailant and his description.
The lawsuit in Multnomah County Circuit Court contends the posting led TV reporters to her door, prompted neighborhood reconnaissance and may have impeded the police investigation.
The suit, filed on behalf of “Jane Doe,” names both the paramedic’s ambulance company, American Medical Response, and the paramedic, Simon P. Green.
She was raped and beaten at her Southeast Portland apartment Feb. 15. Green was dispatched to provide emergency medical care and take her to a hospital.
On March 4, according to the suit, Green wrote on his MySpace site how the stranger followed the woman into her apartment and sexually assaulted her.
On his MySpace site he suggested victims should fight off attackers if confronted by a knife or carry a gun.
“My advice: fight. It’s only a knife, and any rapist is a coward who will probably turn tail at any resistance,” his posting read.
Portland police have released no details of the assault, which remains under investigation. No arrest has been made.
Portland Detective Sue Fachini interviewed the paramedic. According to the lawsuit, Green told police he didn’t think what he posted violated confidentiality laws because he didn’t name the victim.
The detective told Green that the information on his posting could compromise the investigation, especially if the suspect saw the posting and tried to destroy evidence.
She told Green the victim had an expectation of privacy while she was riding in the ambulance.
The paramedic apologized to the detective, saying he was only trying to “get the word out” so other women would have an opportunity to protect themselves.
The victim is seeking economic damages for missing work, obtaining counseling and having to move, as well as non-economic damages for emotional distress, physical illness and loss of sleep.
She accuses Green and the ambulance company of violating her protected information, citing federal privacy rules.
Police determined Green did not break a law. “There’s no crime in what this guy did,” spokesman Sgt. Brian Schmautz said, “it’s just morally reprehensible.”
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