Trainer charged with sexually abusing boy, 16

September 12, 2012 (CHICAGO)

Robert Theodore was employed as a track and triathlon trainer at Life Time Fitness in Warrenville. Prosecutors allege Theodore abused his 16-year-old victim at his Woodridge home and also in the suburban gym where Theodore was a coach and trainer.

Theodore, an accomplished endurance athlete himself, has been a coach for more than three decades, most recently associated with the endurance training program at Life Time Fitness.

Patty Stich coaches swimming at the gym and has known Theodore for six years.

"You put the trust of the kids in your hands and he just took that to the extreme. And he used these kids for his own pleasure," said Stich.

DuPage County prosecutors charged Theodore with three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Theodore posted bond and was released but was not home when ABC7 went to his home Wednesday night.

DuPage County state's attorney Robert Berlin called the allegations sickening and said in a statement, "the relationship between an athlete and their trainer is built on trust and a desire to bring out the best in the athlete. [Theodore] through his actions ... cared nothing about his young victim and destroyed the trust his victim had placed in him to satisfy his own despicable desires."

Prosecutors allege Theodore bought expensive gifts for the boy including an iPod and a high-end bicycle.

A spokesperson for Life Time Fitness says the company finds the allegations startling. They are conducting their own internal investigation and also cooperating with authorities. The spokesperson says once they learned of the investigation they fired Theodore.

Stich, the swim coach, knows the alleged victim and says he is having a difficult time and she believes there are other victims out there.

"It has devastated him greatly," she said.

Prosecutors say the invesgitation is continuing. They are asking anyone with information about other possible victims to come forward and contact Naperville police.

At this point the charges against Theodore are a first-degree felony with a seven year maximum sentence each.

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