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Article updated: 11/2/2012 4:29 PM

Wauconda firefighter charged with sexual abuse involving child

By Lee Filas

A veteran firefighter from Wauconda is free on bond after being charged with two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, authorities said Friday.

Donald Berthiaume, 41, of the 2500 Block of Fish Hook Way, was arrested Wednesday for having inappropriate sexual contact in 2005 with someone who was under the age of 13 at the time, Lake County Sheriff's officials said.

The victim reported the allegations to the Lakemoor Police Department, which requested assistance of the sheriff's criminal investigation division to examine the claim.

Wauconda Fire Protection District Chief David Dato said Berthiaume is a 13-year district veteran, who spent the first four years of his career as a part-time firefighter before being named a full-time firefighter/paramedic nine years ago.

Dato said Berthiaume has been placed on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.

He added none of the acts alleged against Berthiaume occurred when he was on-duty.

"The Wauconda Fire District is deeply troubled by the allegations, is taking the situation very seriously and is cooperating fully with law enforcement," Dato said in a news release Friday. "The men and women of the Wauconda Fire District are also deeply troubled by the allegations. The district would urge the public to allow the matter to be resolved through the criminal justice system and not by public opinion."

Berthiaume's bond was set at $50,000. He was released from custody after posting 10 percent of the required bond.

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