Crime Watch 8

Bloomington firefighter arrested on child sex charges

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) - A Bloomington firefighter has been arrested after allegations of sexual misconduct with a young girl.

The Bloomington Police Department has arrested 44-year-old Robert Sears. He faces two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor and one count of child solicitation. All three charges are level four felonies.

According to investigators, a detective was investigating a 19 year old having an inappropriate relationship with a 14-year-old girl. While reviewing information on her cell phone, the detective found additional communication with someone believed to be an older man. That person referenced working "24 hour shifts at the fire department" and repeatedly asked her to delete their communications.

The detective eventually determined that individual to be Sears and began impersonating the juvenile in communication to Sears. The detective got Sears to drive to a house where he believed the girl and a friend were staying. He was told to bring condoms. He said that he would purchase some.

Detectives then staked out the house, saying that Sears drove by twice. He was then stopped and condoms were located inside of the vehicle.

When speaking with investigators, he said he drove from his home in Mitchell in order to have sex with one or both of the underage girls. He then indicated he had sex with the 14-year-old girl twice in the past.

He was then transported to the Monroe County Jail.

Sears will be placed on administrative duties that prevent contact with the public until formal charges are finalized, said a news release from the fire department.

“Following formal charges, the Board of Public Safety will meet in special session to review the charges and decide whether administrative leave is warranted, and if so, if it will be paid or unpaid until the final disposition of the pending criminal charges by the Monroe County court system. Chief Moore is required to make a recommendation to the Board concerning this decision and will be recommending administrative leave without pay.”

Fire Chief Jason Moore issued this statement:

“The alleged behavior of this individual who works at the Bloomington Fire Department is not representative of our Department’s values nor overall membership. Our top priority is to always ensure excellent professional service to the public who place their trust in us.”


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