The Gloversville emergency medical technician charged last month with forcibly touching women in the back of an ambulance now faces civil suits from two of the alleged victims.
Donald E. Frye, 44, a Fulton County Ambulance Service EMT and Gloversville firefighter, was arrested by Gloversville police on Jan. 30, following a complaint of unwanted sexual contact.
Police opened an investigation based on the complaint and found a similar allegation in the fall of 2011, when a woman said Frye had touched her inappropriately in the back of an ambulance. He was not initially arrested in the 2011 incident but was charged after the more recent allegations.
Upon further review, police said, they found a third complaint of similar actions outside the city.
At the time, Frye was charged with two counts of forcible touching, a class A misdemeanor — one each in the 2011 and 2013 cases — and released.
Now, in addition, he’s facing civil suits from two of the women he allegedly touched. In a complaint filed Feb. 21 in state Supreme Court in Johnstown, a Fulton County woman claimed Frye “sexually assaulted, molested, violated and humiliated” her by conducting what he called a “body cavity search.”
The incident allegedly took place during an ambulance ride March 8, 2011.
The woman said in her complaint that as a result of Frye’s unwanted and unnecessary contact, she has “suffered severe emotional, psychological and mental distress and anxiety, and will likely suffer from such anxiety and distress for the rest of her life.”
The complaint also names as a defendant the Fulton County Ambulance Service for not keeping better track of its employees.
Court documents do not say how much money the woman is seeking, but do mention that she’s “incurred great expense in attempting to be cured of her injuries and will be forced to incur great expense in the future.”
The second woman, also a Fulton County resident, filed documents Feb. 1 in state Supreme Court in Johnstown against Frye and the ambulance service, but attached no complaint detailing her allegations.
Attorney Robert Abdella, who is representing both women, was not sure Wednesday what sort of compensation his clients will be seeking.
“There’s a police investigation still under way,” he said. “At this point, we want to stay out of their way.”
Abdella also pointed out the first complaint was filed long before Frye was finally arrested.
“The ambulance service knew and didn’t do anything about it,” he said.
Officials at the Fulton County Ambulance Service refused comment, but said Frye has since been terminated.
No one contacted Wednesday in Gloversville city government — multiple officials in the City Clerk’s Office, the Finance Department, and the Fire Department — would comment on whether Frye has been suspended from his firefighting duties. Inquires were also directed to the City Attorney Bryan Goldberger, who could not be reached.