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Chicago firefighter charged with sexual assault

Chicago Fire Department

A Chicago firefighter is accused of committing sexual battery against a college student visiting the station for a ride-along. | Sun-Times file photo

Bail was set at $50,000 Thursday for a Chicago firefighter charged with sexually assaulting a woman he was dating.

Jaron Neely, 32, is accused of having sex with the 26-year-old woman after she told him she didn’t want to several times when they were spending time together on Dec. 17, Cook County prosecutors said in court.

Prosecutors said the woman called a friend and told her what happened after leaving Neely’s home following the assault, and had made it clear to Neely she didn’t want to have sex when she went to his home that day.

Prosecutors did not say where the assault occurred during the hearing, but Chicago police records indicated he lives in Gresham.

Jaron Neely | Chicago police

Neely texted the woman soon after she left his home and told her he had heard her say “no” once, prosecutors said.

A private defense attorney for Neely said that the relationship and the sex was consensual and that when Neely was told of the charges he turned himself into police, which police records confirmed. The attorney also said that the woman had sent Neely text messages after the alleged assault that were “friendly in nature.”

The defense attorney said Neely was a 2015 fire department graduate who lives with his mother and is a lifelong resident of the city.

Fire Department spokesman Larry Merritt said the department first learned of the charges against Neely Thursday afternoon. Merritt declined to comment on the arrest.

Prosecutors said the woman had gone to Ingalls Health System the day of the assault and was then sent to another location for a sexual assault kit to be taken. The woman learned that the other treatment location did not offer sexual assault kits and she returned to Ingalls four days later where a sexual assault kit was performed. The results from the analysis of evidence taken was still pending Thursday, prosecutors said.

Judge Sophia Atcherson set Neely’s bail at $50,000 and ordered him placed on electronic home monitoring if he posts bond.

His next court date was set for Feb. 27.