Veteran firefighter arrested on sexually assaulting child

ST. FRANCIS --  A former veteran Cudahy firefighter is facing charges for sexually assaulting a child.  53-year-old Robert Shimeta is accused of sexually assaulting a child under 13.  However, a family member says he is innocent.

Shimeta spent 18 years on the Cudahy Fire Department before retiring.  He was interviewed by FOX6 News in 2008 when then vice-presidential hopeful Joe Biden paid a visit to the department.

Neighbors were shocked to learn of the allegations against Shimeta.

"I'm shocked, first of all. I can't believe someone in our community would do that.  Especially of that standard," one neighbor said.

"I never had a weird feeling about it. He always seemed really nice," a 19-year-old who is friends with Shimeta's son said.

A member of Shimeta's family says they believe a relative of the victim lied to authorities. St. Francis police declined commenting on the arrest on Saturday.

Shimeta is out of jail on bond and is due in court on Monday, September 10th.

Monitor FOX6 News and for updates on this story.