Demand for DNA after semen found on female firefighter’s pants

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Jolene Cleaver, Observer-Dispatch:

An alleged sexual harassment incident regarding the Utica Fire Department is under investigation.

“A female (firefighter) went out on a call, and when she returned she found ejaculate on an extra pair of her pants” that she keeps in a specific area at the station house, Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara said.

While no charges have been filed, the issue appeared Tuesday in Oneida County Court. The District Attorney’s Office requested a DNA sample to be obtained from a firefighter in the department. A ruling on that request is expected to be made Friday, McNamara said.

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Officials say Richard Forte has not yet been charged with a crime, but the DA’s office wants him to turn over a DNA swab because he’s believed to have masturbated into a female firefighter’s work pants while on duty.

The incident allegedly occurred between Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 at the District Five firehouse on Van Rensselaer Avenue in Utica.

The alleged victim took the witness stand in Oneida County Court on Tuesday, and she said that just before leaving her shift on the morning of Jan. 6, she found that the pants she had left lying on her bed were soiled with a bodily fluid. They were turned over to police and following an investigation, police collected DNA samples from several other firefighters on duty, except for Forte, who refused.

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