After a three-day trial and approximately seven hours of deliberation, the Dauphin County jury acquitted Amos P. Cameron, a 49-year-old firefighter and emergency services worker who, when accused, was a top official at a Pittsburgh-area nonprofit, the Emergency Medical Service Institute.
“It’s the right verdict,” said Steven C. Townsend, Cameron’s attorney.
Cameron, of Leetsdale, has maintained all along that the sexual relations with the Southampton woman were consensual. Townsend said his client is overjoyed that he has been vindicated, but added that the 49-year-old has endured a harrowing ordeal.
“He has had to step off several boards he sits on because of how this looked to the public,” said Townsend. “He broke down in tears in court when he was listening to how she was portraying him.”
Dauphin County Assistant District Attorney Nichole Smith said the woman was upset by the verdict, but is “holding up as well as can be expected under the circumstances.”
“We respect the jury’s decision but we are disappointed,” said Smith. “I don’t think it was an easy case to decide. We presented quite a few facts that we thought supported the victim’s version of events.”
Townsend claimed there were inconsistencies in the woman’s testimony. Charges were not filed against Cameron until July 2009, nearly a year after the woman reported the rape. Townsend said that showed there was a weakness in the prosecution’s case from the beginning.
“They let the case sit around for months and then they decided to charge him,” said Townsend.
The woman alleged that Cameron raped her in her hotel room in East Hanover, Dauphin County, the night of Aug. 11, 2008. She and Cameron were both in the area for an EMS conference.
The woman reportedly felt sick after dining with friends at the hotel and decided to go to her room, said court papers. Cameron walked her to the room. There, the woman maintained, the rape occurred.
Cameron had supporters who felt he had been wrongly accused. A page on Facebook is dedicated to raising money to help pay for his legal defense. The page is called “Support Amos Cameron,” and 112 people have signed on as friends.
Christopher Ruvo can be reached at 215-345-3147 or firstname.lastname@example.org
An assistant fire chief in Leetsdale who is also the commander of an EMS strike team was acquitted of rape charges in Dauphin County Thursday.
Amos P. Cameron, 48, was charged with rape of an unconscious victim, indecent assault and sexual assault following an emergency medical services conference in Harrisburg.
Mr. Cameron, who is the commander of Pennsylvania’s Region 4 Emergency Medical Services Strike Team, claimed in his defense that the sex was consensual, said his attorney, Steven C. Townsend. His client cooperated with police from the beginning, he said, wrote a 16-page statement and passed a polygraph test.
According to Mr. Townsend, the alleged victim in the case is white and married, and there was testimony that she was on fertility drugs at the time. Mr. Cameron is black, and they argued that the woman made up the rape story to cover up that she had had consensual sex.
Mr. Cameron, who had been relieved of some duties during the of the case, will now resume his full workload.