Firefighter Charged With Rape Removed From Duty After He Was Found To Still Be Working

The Chicago firefighter-EMT accused of raping a woman, who was found to still be on active duty, has now been relieved of his frontline responsibilities.

Erik Zuma, 31, had been based at the fire station on 44th Street and Ashland Avenue and was found to still been responding to calls, an investigation by CBS 2 found.

The firefighter had answered calls to the Chicago Fire Department (CFD) from people who needed medical help.

And as of yesterday, Zuma had continued in the role, despite having been charged with five felony counts, including one of rape.

However, a statement sent from Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt to Newsweek said an investigation would be launched and that Zuma had been relieved of frontline duties.

In a statement sent to Newsweek from the commissioner, she said: "The Chicago Fire Department takes gender-based violence, including sexual assault, and violence of any kind extremely seriously. I am aware of previous statements attributed to a CFD spokesperson regarding this matter.

"I understand that those comments were offensive and suggested that the CFD did not take the allegations against one of our members seriously. Those comments do not reflect the values of the Department or the seriousness with which we must take all allegations of gender-based violence.

"At my direction, the Internal Affairs Division (IAD) investigation will be expedited while Chicago Police Department conducts their concurrent criminal investigation."

It continued: "The allegations made against this employee are extremely serious, deeply disturbing, and do not reflect the values of the Chicago Fire Department or the City of Chicago.

"The employee in question has been removed from field responsibilities pending the outcome of both investigations and further action will be swiftly taken following the findings of IAD and the CPD. CFD is also working closely with the Mayor's Office to enhance a whole-of-government approach to gender-based violence and will continue to be engaged as both a participant and a learner to improve our role in addressing gender-based violence."

According to a court document obtained by CBS 2, the alleged rape happened in February and was captured on a security camera.

Cook County prosecutors alleged that Zuma, referred to as D in the document, slapped and then raped the woman, identified in the same court papers as V, after she asked him to stop.

The document read: "This part of the incident was captured on a [Ring security] camera kept in the living room. There is also corresponding audio. It captures all of the action in the living room and also captures V crying and telling D to stop."

Zuma was arrested on July 15 and has yet to enter a plea, although he is due in court on August 5. Bail was set at $30,000 on July 16.

Newsweek has contacted the Chicago Police Department for comment.

Zuma is charged with sexual assault
Zuma is charged with sexual assault. CPD