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Jury gets case in fake assistant trial

Aug. 30, 2012 at 12:58 PM

ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 30 (UPI) -- A Florida jury Thursday began deliberating the fate of a teenager who allegedly posed as a physician's assistant to work in an Orlando area emergency room.

Matthew Scheidt, who was 17 at the time, used his assured confidence to convince medical staff to give him a physician's assistant badge in August 2011, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Testimony in the two-day trial revealed while Scheidt was initially denied access to the ER at Orlando Regional Medical Center, he later showed up in hospital scrubs and carrying a stethoscope. He convinced a medical director to allow him to shadow doctors as they worked on patients.

After being refused access again, Scheidt returned to the hospital and was able to watch patient treatments without anyone checking his credentials.

Neither the hospital nor the prosecution claims Scheidt caused harm to any patients.

An ORMC physician's assistant whom the teen shadowed testified he "didn't do anything that concerned her."

Scheidt faces separate charges for impersonating an officer. He was arrested in January on Miami Beach after an undercover officer said Scheidt was conducting himself as an officer.

After his arrest, police found him in possession of a variety of police equipment, including an Osceola County Sheriff's badge, a Taser and a .380-caliber Ruger handgun

If convicted in the medical impersonation case, Scheidt could be in prison until he is 43.

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