Merrionette Park firefighter charged with sexually abusing woman at party
A $250,000 bond was set Sunday for a Merrionette Park firefighter accused of sexually abusing a visitor from Hawaii at a party while a fellow firefighter allegedly acted as lookout outside the bedroom door.
The 22-year-old victim had become ill from too much to drink at the party and was sleeping in a bedroom when Marvin Buhle, 24, allegedly removed her pants and sexually abused her, Assistant State’s Attorney Bridget O’Brien said.
Michael Haas, 20, also a Merrionette Park firefighter, was accused of standing outside the bedroom door and acting as a lookout. His bond was set at $100,000 in the incident, which occurred at a party in the 3900 block of West 109th Street in Chicago.
O’Brien said the victim had gone to the June 14 party with her boyfriend, who took her to the bedroom to rest after she became ill from too much to drink. The boyfriend left the victim fully clothed, with the bedroom door ajar, and returned to the party but checked on her periodically, O’Brien said.
The two firefighters allegedly told other partygoers they were leaving, but when witnesses heard footsteps upstairs, the victim’s boyfriend went upstairs to check on his girlfriend, O’Brien said during a hearing in bond court. There, the prosecutor said, the boyfriend found Haas standing in front of a closed bedroom door, and opened it to see the victim asleep and partially clothed, with Buhle on top of her.
Buhle, of the 3800 block of West 107th Place, in Chicago, and Haas, who lives near 104th and St. Louis in Chicago, allegedly tried to flee but were chased and held by other witnesses. They had been invited to the party because they previously worked with one of the witnesses, authorities said.
Buhle later allegedly said he went into the bedroom because the victim had “made eyes at him.’’ He told officials the victim removed her own pants but admitted fondling her, prosecutors said.
Haas’ attorney, Sean O’Brien, said Haas is “anxious to reunite with his family, denies the charges and looks forward to fighting them in court.’’
A message left with officials at the South Suburban fire department on Sunday was not immediately returned.