Authorities Charge Volunteer Firefighter With Sexual Assault

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A Waterloo volunteer firefighter has been charged with sexual assault after authorities say he drugged a woman and attacked her while she was incapacitated.

The Douglas County Attorney has charged 27-year-old Brandon Hanusek with first-degree sexual assault of a mentally or physically incompetent person. Neither Hanusek nor his lawyer responded to messages from the Omaha World-Herald about the case, but he has filed documents seeking to plead not guilty in the case.

The woman who was the victim of the alleged assault discussed the details of it with the newspaper. She said she woke up naked and vomiting in a bathroom she didn’t recognize after the attack with bruises on her back, sides and legs. She said she hopes that by coming forward to discuss her case, she might encourage other victims of sexual assault to come forward.

Waterloo Volunteer Fire Department Chief Travis Harlow said he placed Hanusek on administrative leave after he was charged in May. Hanusek posted $2.500 bond after he was arrested in early June and he remains free while the case is pending.

Hanusek has already been disciplined by his union for the alleged sexual assault because he was found to have violated parts of the group's constitution. The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry said in a letter that Hanusek was fined $50,000 and expelled from the union.