Cranberry Township's ambulance service has suspended its executive director following his arrest on charges that he raped and sexually assaulted an unconscious 19-year-old after providing three teens with alcohol.
Steve Frank Tedesco Jr., also has been suspended by Cranberry's fire company, where he is a volunteer.
Evans City police on Wednesday arrested Tedesco, 29, on charges stemming from an incident Saturday. Cranberry Township Emergency Medical Services suspended him Wednesday without pay until further notice.
"We're letting the legal system system take its course of action," said ambulance board Chairman Scott Smith.
Smith said he was shocked by the accusations against Tedesco.
Cranberry Public Safety Director Jeff Schueler, a liaison between the township and the ambulance company, said he will meet today with the company's board of directors to discuss Tedesco's future. Ted Fessides has been named interim executive director of the company.
Tedesco faces felony charges of rape and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. According to court documents, he is charged with assaulting and performing oral sex on the teen while the teen was unconscious.
Police also charged him with furnishing alcohol to three underage people and with one count each of indecent assault and indecent assault of an unconscious person.
Schueler said Tedesco stopped by the Cranberry police station Wednesday to drop off an item for the township. Officers there served a warrant for his arrest on behalf of Evans City police, he said.
According to the criminal complaint, the 19-year-old told police that he, Tedesco, and two other 19-year-olds were drinking around a fire outside the Maple Avenue home of one of the teens in Evans City. The teen told police Tedesco provided the alcohol
Around midnight, they went inside and the 19-year-old fell asleep on the floor next to Tedesco, according to the complaint. He told police he awoke around to find Tedesco performing oral sex on him. The teen told police he pushed Tedesco away and went to the other side of the room.
Tedesco later sent the 19-year-old several text messages apologizing for what happened and asking if they could talk, according to the complaint.
On Wednesday, Evans City police said they listened to a phone call between the victim and Tedesco in which Tedesco again apologized. He also referred to the alcohol and told them not to tell anyone about it.
Tedesco appeared Wednesday before Magisterial District Judge Tim Shaffer. A preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Wayne Seibel in Evans City set for March 15 has been continued to a later date.
A professional EMT and a volunteer with the Cranberry Township Volunteer Fire Company, Tedesco became executive director of the ambulance service following a nationwide search several years ago.
Smith said Tedesco was part of a joint effort to turn around the service after financial issues in 2008 almost led to its closing. At that time, the service was seeking loans to make payroll.
Tedesco is the outfit's first full-time executive director. Prior to that, Smith said Tedesco had worked for the Cranberry service as a paramedic on both a part-time and a full-time basis.
"I have known him for several years. I thought he was doing a good job for the ambulance company," Schueler said.
Schueler stressed that the charges against Tedesco were not connected to his position with the ambulance company.
"This is his private life and it shouldn’t reflect on the ambulance company," he said. "They do a great job and they will continue to do so."
Schueler said none of the teens involved in the incident were members of the Cranberry fire department. He was unsure of Tedesco's connection to the minors.
EMS workers who were gathered outside the ambulance station Thursday morning told Cranberry Patch they had no comment on Tedesco's arrest. Bruce Hezlep, president of the fire company, also said he had no comment.
Keep checking Cranberry Patch for more details.