PASCAGOULA, Miss. – A former Mississippi paramedic has been sentenced to 40 years in prison without parole for sexually assaulting patients in ambulances on the way to hospitals.

The Sun Herald reports James Lavelle Walley of Leakesville was sentenced Monday by Circuit Judge Robert Krebs.

The 57-year-old Walley pleaded guilty May 9 to three counts of sexual battery and two counts of touching a child for lustful purposes.

District Attorney Angel Myers McIlrath says the crimes occurred between 2016 and 2019.

The ambulance company fired him.

McIlrath says Walley raped a pregnant patient as she was being taken to a hospital, and the woman had a miscarriage hours later.