Hillsboro Fire & Rescue lieutenant charged with child sex abuse
A longtime Hillsboro Fire & Rescue lieutenant has been indicted on multiple child sex abuse crimes.
Court records show 48-year-old Forest Grove resident Steven Michael Klaus was arrested Monday, June 29, and lodged at the Washington County Jail.
Initial charges against Klaus include two counts of first-degree unlawful sexual penetration and five counts of first-degree sex abuse.
Klaus' alleged crimes took place over a six-year period starting in 2010, court records show.
The victim was under the age of 12 when the alleged abuse began, according to court documents.
Klaus was arraigned on Tuesday, June 30. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Speaking Wednesday, July 1, Hillsboro city officials confirmed they are aware of the charges against Klaus. They say the alleged crimes occurred outside of his work with Hillsboro Fire & Rescue.
"As a public agency with a responsibility to lead with ethics and integrity, the city holds all employees to the highest level of ethical standards," said Piseth Pich, spokesperson for Hillsboro Fire & Rescue, in a statement. "At this time, Mr. Klaus is not in the workplace. While we find the nature of the allegations appalling, the city must respect the legal process as well as the employee's rights. We are continuing to review all available information and any further employment action will depend on the facts and information available to the city as this matter progresses."
City spokesperson Patrick Preston said Klaus has been employed with Hillsboro Fire & Rescue since 1995.
The city's human resources department has never received complaints against Klaus, Preston said.
Court records show Klaus has not previously been charged with any felonies or misdemeanors.
Oregon's sentencing guidelines show Klaus could be sentenced to up to 90 years in prison if he's convicted on the charges.
His bail has been set at $1.75 million.
A trial date has tentatively been set for Aug. 19, court records show.
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