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Coach pleads guilty in Naperville sex abuse case

<p>Robert J. Theodore. | Courtesy of Naperville Police Department</p>

Robert J. Theodore. | Courtesy of Naperville Police Department

A track and triathlon trainer from Woodridge faces a potential prison term, after admitting he sexually molested a Naperville boy he had coached over a two-year period.

Robert J. Theodore, 61, entered a blind plea of guilty Monday to one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin said.

Theodore is a former Lisle High School track and field coach. He most recently worked as a trainer at Lifetime Fitness, at 28141 Diehl Road in Warrenville, where at least one instance of molestation occurred.

Berlin, in a news release, said Theodore on Sept. 11, 2012 “was charged with having inappropriate sexual contact with a minor boy whom he had been training in track and field.”

“Today’s plea stems from allegations that, while Theodore was employed as a track/triathlon trainer ... he had inappropriate sexual contact with his victim on several occasions,” Berlin said.

The victim was 16 at the time and is now in his early 20s. A grand jury indictment returned last year alleged two instances of abuse occurred in the boy’s Naperville home; two in Theodore’s home on Hagen Court in Woodridge; and another when Theodore and the youth were in a hot tub at Lifetime Fitness.

Berlin spokesman Paul Darrah said last year Theodore bought expensive gifts for the boy that included a specialized bicycle, an iPod Touch and clothing.

“Mr. Theodore’s actions are repulsive,” Berlin said. “He took advantage of the trust this young athlete had placed in him.”

“Instead of trying to bring out the best athletic performance in his young victim, Mr. Theodore, who cared nothing for the boy, used his position as a trusted authority to satisfy his own sick sexual desires,” Berlin said.

Theodore has been subject to GPS monitoring since being released on bond. He is scheduled to return Jan. 8 to court, when a pre-sentencing report is due.

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