Former Cudahy firefighter accused of molesting 12-year-old

WTMJ News Team

Photo: Robert Shimeta

Former Cudahy firefighter accused of molesting 12-year-old

CREATED Sep. 7, 2012 - UPDATED: Sep. 7, 2012

CUDAHY- A retired firefighter has been charged with sexually molesting a 12-year-old child.

Retired firefighter Robert Shimeta is a well known fixture around Cudahy and Saint Francis, and has received several awards for his work.  People who know him told TODAY'S TMJ4 they can't believe this accusation.

"A very nice guy...very friendly and very well liked," said Robert Grosch.

But now Shimeta's charged with sexually assaulting a child he knew.

Investigators say Shimeta touched a 12-year-old girl while she watched videos on a computer.  He allegedly made her sit on his lap and he touched her breasts.  Police say he confessed -- and admitted the touching lasted several minutes.

The girl told her mother who called police.

It's an action that friends never saw coming.

"Very, very surprised, I mean he always seemed like a nice guy to me," said Grosch.

Two years ago, Shimeta was honored by the city for 18 outstanding years of service to the Cudahy Fire Department.

Police told TODAY'S TMJ4 they don't believe there are any other victims.

If convicted, Shimeta could face a maximum of 60 years in prison.