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Wauconda firefighter arrested for sex abuse of minor

Donald Berthiaume. Photo/Lake County Sheriff's office.

Donald Berthiaume. Photo/Lake County Sheriff's office.

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Updated: December 4, 2012 6:09AM

WAUCONDA — A 41-year-old firefighter has been arrested and charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse for inappropriate sexual contact with a 13-year-old girl.

Donald Berthiaume, of the 2500 Block of Fish Hook Way, Wauconda, was taken into custody by Lake County sheriff’s deputies.

Fire Chief Dave Dato said Friday investigators came to talk to Berthiaume at the fire station Wednesday and then took him into custody.

Berthiaume has been on the department full-time for nine years and is a firefighter/paramedic. He worked as a part-time volunteer paid-on-call for four years. He was placed on paid administrative leave.

“We are deeply troubled by the allegations,” said Dato. “We take the situation seriously and will cooperate fully with law enforcement.”

He said Wauconda Fire District officials and the village administration will be following and evaluating the case as it unfolds. “We also want to protect the reputation of all the people in the department,” said Dato.

The victim, who was under the age of 13 at the time of the offense, reported to the Lakemoor Police Department that in 2005 Berthiaume had inappropriate sexual contact with her when she was a juvenile. Lakemoor police requested the assistance of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division to investigate the incident.

Berthiaume was charged with two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. His bond has been set at $50,000 and he was released from custody after posting 10 percent of the required bond.

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