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Lake County deputy coroner facing teen sex charges

Robert Barrett

Robert Barrett

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A 10-year veteran of the Lake County coroner’s office is facing criminal sexual assault charges for inappropriately touching a teenage girl, authorities said.

Robert Barrett, 42, of Lindenhurst, a Lake County senior deputy coroner, was picked up by police Sunday night and taken to a Waukegan hospital for mental health treatment after allegedly threatening suicide, a source close to the investigation said.

The source said Barrett was caught Sunday in a compromising position with the young girl, and said the activity had been going on for some time.

Barrett, who joined the coroner’s office in fall 2001, could face more charges when he’s released from Vista West Medical Center in Waukegan, authorities said.

Police found him outside the coroner’s downtown Waukegan office Sunday night and took him to the hospital. Barrett’s wife had called Lindenhurst police to tell them he had left home and was talking about taking his life.

Deputy coroners carry weapons and go through the same training as police officers, Lake County Coroner Richard Keller said.

Barrett is on unpaid administrative leave, and Keller said he would make a decision on how to move forward depending the police investigation.

“He’s always been an excellent employee, he did his job well,” said Keller.

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