A former Mississippi paramedic was sentenced to 40 years in prison with no chance of parole, after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting patients while they were in the ambulance being taken to a hospital.
James Lavelle Walley, 57, of Leakesville, apologized to his victims during his sentencing hearing on Monday,
"I’m asking you, begging you to forgive me," Walley said to the women and their relatives cried in the courtroom.
placeholderCircuit Judge Robert Krebs said he was not swayed by Walley’s apologies.
"He should be in his late 90s before he’d ever be eligible to get out," District Attorney Angel Myers McIlrath said Monday.
Walley pleaded guilty on May 9 to three counts of sexual battery and two counts of touching a child sexually.
McIlrath said Walley committed the crimes between 2016 and 2019 while working as a certified paramedic for ASAP Ambulance. The company, which did fire him, serves patients in Alabama and Mississippi.
Walley was in the back of the ambulance with the victims when the assaults occurred. The drivers claimed they had no knowledge of the attacks, court records showed.
Krebs on Monday apologized to the victims because they had faced doubt from some law enforcement officers or others in the criminal justice system.
"My apologies that you weren't believed," the judge said.
Walley had no criminal history before his arrest.
In each criminal case, victims were vulnerable because they had a medical condition that required emergency care at the time Walley assaulted them. McIlrath said Walley raped a pregnant patient in an ambulance in 2018 as she was being taken to a hospital, and the woman miscarried hours later.
More details came to light in the civil lawsuits that were filed on behalf of the victims who said Walley assaulted them during emergency trips to south Mississippi hospitals. The civil cases have been settled and dismissed.