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Firefighter faces charges after alleged assault on female colleague at Jamaica Plain firehouse

A Boston firefighter is facing charges that he attempted to sexually assault a female colleague at their Jamaica Plain firehouse earlier this year, according to the authorities.

The attack occurred the evening of Jan. 14 in the firehouse at 746 Centre St., the female firefighter alleged, according to documents filed in West Roxbury Municipal Court.

Firefighter David Sanchez, 37, of Hyde Park, was arraigned in that court April 18. He faces charges of indecent assault and battery on a person 14 or older and assault and battery. A not-guilty plea was entered on behalf of Sanchez, who joined the Boston Fire Department in 2006.


“He pleaded not guilty from day one,’’ his attorney, John Diaz, told the Globe on the day of the arraignment.

Prosecutors recommended $2,000 cash bail, but Judge Mary Ann Driscoll released him on personal recognizance and ordered him to stay away from the alleged victim and the firehouse. A pretrial hearing is set for June 13.

The woman told a Boston police officer on the night of the alleged assault that a male colleague had confronted her at the firehouse and attempted to kiss her. When she tried to get away from him, according to a police report, he pulled her pants down while exposing his genitals.

The woman said he then turned her around and pushed her onto a couch. As she refused his advances, the document said, he allegedly grabbed her by the head and pushed her into his crotch. The woman was able to free herself and left the station, the document said.

The Globe does not name alleged victims of sexual assault.

Fire Commissioner Joseph E. Finn and Mayor Martin J. Walsh would not comment on specifics of the case, opting to wait until it goes through the court system. But both said they will not stand for inappropriate conduct in any city workplace.


“The Boston Fire Department takes these allegations very seriously, and they warrant our full attention,’’ Finn said in a statement. “As a result, firefighter Sanchez has been placed on administrative leave while this situation is adjudicated through the court system. We will continue to monitor this situation and take swift and appropriate action if and when it is necessary.”

Walsh said he was notified about the case in January.

“It’s a court matter right now,’’ the mayor said, “so I really can’t get into the particulars. But I don’t tolerate any type of behavior like this — from any of our people, never mind a firefighter, but a police officer or a public official.”

Richard Paris, who heads Boston Fire Fighters Local 718, said the union is aware of the case.

“These allegations are disturbing and do not reflect the values of men and women of the Boston Firefighters Local 718,’’ Paris said. “Because this matter is ongoing, I am unable to comment any further.”

City Councilor Matt O’Malley, whose district includes the firehouse, said he learned of the allegations when told by a reporter.“No one should ever feel unsafe in any workforce, and something that rises to that level is of great concern,” he said.

The council’s president, Andrea Campbell, did not respond to requests for comment.

Female firefighters, who represent 1 percent of the city’s 1,500 firefighters, work alongside the men on 24-hour shifts.

Some of the women have complained about harassing behavior, mistreatment, and being isolated in certain firehouses. Those who spoke to the Globe said their complaints have not always been addressed, or they have not been believed.


The commissioner said he has an open-door policy to address the women’s concerns.

Meghan E. Irons can be reached at meghan.irons@globe.com.