Suburban police officer faces sex charge

April 21, 2009 3:28:13 PM PDT
A veteran police officer from the north suburbs has been arrested and charged with sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl from Wisconsin. The officer is from Round Lake Beach in Lake County. Police say Officer Leroy Kuffel has been with the Round Lake Beach Police Department for 28 years and he met his victim, a 16-year-old girl, through his son who had been dating her.

Kuffel was arrested Monday morning. He is charged with one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. He was arrested by Lake County Sheriff's deputies at the Round Lake Beach Police Department.

Police say they received an anonymous tip about the relationship and began their investigation. Kuffel has admitted that he knows the girl, picked her up from her home in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, last month while he was off duty, went to dinner with her, has paid for her cell phone and bought her clothes but denies ever having sex with her.

Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran says the relationship took place in Kuffel's home in Lake Villa and that is where he met the girl when she was there with Kuffel's son.

"His son was having a relationship with the victim in this case, he was introduced to her, and then he became friends with her, befriending her," said Curran. "At some point subsequent to that he tried to develop a relationship with her."

The Round Lake Beach Police Department has placed Kuffel on administrative leave with pay while the investigation continues. Police Chief Doug Larsson told ABC7, "If this is true, this kind of conduct is abhorrent to me."

Kuffel was released from custody after posting 10 percent of his $200,000 bond. His next court date is scheduled for May 21.


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