RACINE -- A 37-year-old Somers firefighter is charged with second degree sexual assault for allegedly assaulting a teenage girl while she was being taken to the hospital in an ambulance. Jodin Froeber of Kenosha was charged in Racine County Thursday.
According to the criminal complaint against Froeber, the charges stem from an incident which took place on July 19, 2011. According to the sheriff’s department, at around 11:49 a.m., a call to 911 was made for the 17-year-old girl who had a seizure at the Trefoil Oak Program Center.
The complaint says Froeber was the only caregiver in the rear of the transporting ambulance with the victim. He was off duty but responded to the center in his personal vehicle.
The complaint indicates at some point while being transported to a hospital, the victim "felt what she perceived to be a man’s hand under her shirt, tank top and bra. She then felt her clothes lift away from her body."
The complaint says Froeber then lifted the victim's clothes up. That's when the victim told police she "heard two distinct clicking sounds, of what she believed to be the shutter of a camera or possibly a cell phone. His hand then released her clothes."
The complaint says Froeber also lifted the victims shorts and touched her genitals.
The victim told police she was "unable to open her eyes because of how tired the seizure and the medications she was given in the ambulance had made her."
"He absolutely denies these allegations. We've been cooperating with this investigation the entire time," Froeber's attorney Jonathan LaVoy tells Fox 6.
Racine County District Attorney Rich Chiapete tells FOX6 News a referral for charges only showed up recently on his desk -- after a crime lab was finally able to process items seized from Froeber's home.
"It's shocking in a sense that Mr. Foeber has been working all the weay through during this investigation that;s gone on almost 13 months. He has no prior allegations of impropriety," says LaVoy.
If convicted, Froeber faces up to 40 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.
Froeber's preliminary hearing is at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 29 before Court Commissioner Alice A. Rudebusch.
Incidentally, Froeber is the highest paid firefighter in the Town of Somers. For now, he on paid leave.
Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for updates on this developing story.