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Former Wausau firefighter charged with sexually assaulting patient

(WSAW)
Published: Sep. 26, 2017 at 1:50 PM CDT
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A former Wausau firefighter was charged Tuesday in Marathon County Circuit Court with sexually assaulting a patient he was transporting to a hospital.

"We realize we have violated the trust of our community but are going to work diligently to regain and repair that trust," said Wausau Fire Chief Tracey Kujawa.

Clifford Heiser, 32, was arrested by Wausau Police after an investigation into a complaint from a female patient on Sept. 13. The complaint was filed by a 29-year-old woman who was transported to an area hospital by a Wausau Fire Department ambulance. No other Wausau fire personnel were part of the allegation.

Police conducted a DNA test related to the alleged sexual assault and after receiving the results, arrested Heiser on Sept. 25.

"Part of a sexual assault investigation is we do what is called a SANE kit, a sexual assault nurse examiner is a certified nurse who is specially trained to collect physical evidence in a sexual assault case," Wausau Police Department Deputy Chief Ben Bliven said. "The offender had his DNA on her and that was confirmed by the Wisconsin State Crime Lab."

Heiser was placed on administrative leave until Tuesday morning when he resigned from his position as a firefighter/paramedic.

In a statement, the Wausau Fire Department said it is deeply concerned about the allegations and is committed to the mission of safety and security for the citizens it serves.

"We appreciate the strength and courage it took for this individual to come forward and it's our duty to press forward to determine the truth of this situation," Kujawa said.

Heiser is charged with third degree sexual assault, misconduct in office and two counts of fourth degree sexual assault.

Heiser is free on a $25,000 signature bond after posting the first $2,500 in cash. He'll return to court Oct. 4 for a preliminary hearing.