Victim of rape filmed in ambulance sues Ky. city, convicted ex-firefighter
The suit alleges that the city, fire chief and a fire department employee were aware inappropriate activities were occurring on city and fire department property
PARIS, Ky. — The victim of a former Harrison County constable, who also was a Paris Fire Department firefighter, has sued him after he was convicted on federal charges related to the rape of a minor.
William Michael Fields, Jr., was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison after he was convicted of two counts of child pornography production in connection with the events described in the victim's lawsuit, according to court records.
The victim filed the lawsuit in federal court against Fields, the city of Paris, the chief of the Paris Fire Department, a firefighter and two police officers. A city leader said the city responded to the initial allegations against Fields as soon as it learned of them.
The Herald-Leader is not releasing the victim's name because the sex crime occurred when she was a minor. She was a high school student interested in a career in law enforcement or emergency services when a friend took her to visit a volunteer fire station in Cynthiana, according to the lawsuit. It was there that the victim met Fields, who was at the station working on a truck as a side business.
Fields, who was 36 at the time, asked the victim to follow him in the truck when he drove it to his client, according to the lawsuit. The victim, who was 17 years old at the time, reluctantly agreed, and during the drive back to the station, Fields asked her about her sexual preferences.
The victim said she did not engage because she felt awkward, and she went home as soon as they got back to the station, according to the lawsuit.
Fields added the victim on Snapchat that night, and began conversations under the premise of discussing her interest in a career in law enforcement or emergency services. During those conversations, Fields eventually started sending sexually explicit photos and requested that the victim send him explicit pictures, according to the lawsuit.
Fields would also stop at the victim's work, McDonald's, to "stalk and groom" her, according to the lawsuit.
In March of 2019, Fields met the victim in the parking lot of a Walmart in Harrison County. He was in his constable uniform and was driving a Harrison County constable vehicle, according to the lawsuit. He'd offered to take the victim to Paris to look at EMT vehicles.
The lawsuit alleged that, at some point, Fields contacted two Paris police officers to tell them that he was taking a "female" to a Paris Fire Department storage facility and asked them to not interfere.
Fields gave the victim alcohol while showing her vehicles at the facility, and then he took her into the the back of an ambulance and had sexual relations with her, according to the lawsuit. He took video of what happened on the victim's phone and sent it to his own phone, resulting in one of his federal charges of producing child pornography.
Fields had sexual relations again with the victim at a later date and filmed it; that time the two were at an EMT training facility within the Paris Fire Department, according to the lawsuit. Fields was charged in state court with third-degree rape. A grand jury decided not to indict Fields on some of the state charges against him.
The lawsuit alleged the city of Paris, the fire chief and a fire department employee were aware that city and fire department property was being used for alcohol consumption and inappropriate activities.
"(The victim's) involvement as victim in these incidents are an open secret in her small community and she experiences shame and humiliation as a result," the lawsuit states.
As a result of what happened, the victim has "given up her dreams" of pursuing a career in law enforcement or emergency services, and her grades in high school suffered "tremendously," according to the lawsuit. Because of Fields's actions and the inaction of other defendants, the victim suffered physically and emotionally, the lawsuit argued.
The victim wants punitive damages and payment of medical expenses, according to the lawsuit.
Paris City Manager Daron Jordan said in a statement to the Herald-Leader that the city was first alerted to the allegations against Fields by law enforcement from another community. That agency was investigating Fields' behavior.
"The city of Paris immediately began its administrative action and the employee resigned," Jordan said in the statement. "City personnel cooperated with all state and federal law enforcement in their investigations as we did with the prosecuting attorneys who pursued the criminal charges."
Jordan said the city was not previously aware of Fields' inappropriate behavior, "most all of which is alleged to have occurred while he was off duty."
"However, such conduct is not tolerated by the city," Jordan said. "Additionally, the city prohibits alcohol consumption by its employees while on duty or while on city property."
The city of Paris and its current employees will be defended in the lawsuit by the city's legal counsel.
The victim is being represented by Joseph Buckles, of Buckles Law Office in Lexington.
(c)2020 the Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.)