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The state Board of Health on Thursday revoked the paramedic license of a former ambulance worker who was arrested on a felony child sexual indecency charge but pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in an agreement with prosecutors.

Craig Harvey, 40, of Goshen resigned from his job with Central EMS, a Fayetteville-based ambulance service, after the arrest in March 2018.

His license was suspended on an emergency basis a few days later, state Department of Health spokesman Meg Mirivel said.

Department attorney Brooks White said the arrest came after an 11-year-old girl told authorities that Harvey asked to see a rash on her arm, then had her remove all her clothes, lay on a bed and spread her legs.

He said police and the prosecutor found her story credible, but the prosecutor agreed to reduce the charge to misdemeanor harassment because the girl did not want to testify at trial.

Harvey pleaded guilty to the lesser charge in February 2019. Washington County Circuit Judge Mark Lindsay sentenced him to a year of probation and fined him $1,000.

Harvey denied any sexual misconduct but admitted to "conduct that alarmed another person and that served no legitimate purpose," his attorney, Randy Hall of Little Rock, told the Board of Health on Thursday.

Quoting from a transcript, he said Harvey told a three-member committee of the board in August, "I guess I did somehow alarm her by raising up her shirt because she had a rash, but that's all I did."

Hall said Harvey didn't raise the shirt above the girl's chest.

Hall and White both said that Tracy Bagwell, an administrative law judge with the state Department of Human Services, declined to put Harvey on the state's child maltreatment registry.

In her recorded statement to authorities, the girl "was very dramatic and theatrical, and she used big words that an 11 year old would not normally use, which caused her statements to lack credibility," Hall and White, reading from a transcript, both quoted Bagwell as saying in a ruling.

The girl's "demeanor during the interview was very unusual, and she seemed to be seeking attention, which caused her statements to not be believable," the attorneys quoted the judge as finding.

According to the attorneys, Bagwell also noted that the girl said Harvey had orange or red lighting in his home, which both Harvey and his wife denied.

White said the prosecutor in the case disagreed with Bagwell's assessment.

The prosecutor "explained that this child is very intelligent, very articulate for her age," White said. "She found nothing out of the ordinary about her."

In revoking Harvey's license on Thursday, the board followed the recommendation of the committee, which found Harvey "unfit to competently and adequately practice as an [Emergency Medical Services] professional in the State of Arkansas."

"Practicing as an EMS professional requires treatment of vulnerable minors, and licensee was convicted of a crime arising out of allegations of sexual impropriety with a child," the committee said in its recommendation. "He also had a duty under the rules to report his own illegal conduct to the Department and failed to do so."

The board issued the revocation on Thursday in a voice vote, with no members dissenting.

Hall said Harvey will appeal the ruling to Pulaski County Circuit Court.

"We're disappointed that the board would not defer to a person with training such as an administrative law judge in discerning the truth of the allegations," Hall said.

Metro on 01/24/2020

Print Headline: Former Arkansas paramedic's license revoked; man pleaded guilty to misdemeanor after arrest in sex case

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