TORRANCE (CNS) - A one-time fifth-grade teacher at an El Segundo grade school has been charged with molesting 13 boys in Los Angeles and Orange counties, and in northern California, a newspaper reported today.
Jeffrey Thomas Simonek was arrested in late November and is now held on $20 million bail at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Downtown Los Angeles, and faces 20 counts of lewd acts upon a child under 14 years old, stemming from alleged crimes that occurred primarily from September 2011 to September 2012, according to a once-secret indictment obtained by the Daily Breeze newspaper.
Two of the boys were reportedly victims at the Center Street School in El Segundo, the Daily Breeze reported.
The newspaper reported that jail records show El Segundo police detectives arrested Simonek on Nov. 26, shortly after the grand jury issued the indictment.
The grand jury indictment, initially sealed and marked ``secret,'' names 13 individual victims, each listed by his first name and initial of his last name, the newspaper reported. Sixteen of the alleged offenses occurred in Los Angeles County, two in Orange County, and two in Plumas County, east of Chico.
Each count alleges Simonek committed a lewd and lascivious act on a boy ``with the intent of arousing, appealing to and gratifying the lust, passions and sexual desires of the said defendant and said child,'' the Daily Breeze reported.
The newspaper reported that detectives opened an investigation into Simonek in August 2012 after the county Department of Children and Family Services received an anonymous report alleging two boys were sexually assaulted in his Center Street Elementary School classroom.
El Segundo police arrested Simonek two months later, alleging he molested the boys in his fifth-grade classroom. His employment with the El Segundo Unified School District ended shortly the allegations were made against him, the Daily Breeze reported.
Police told the newspaper that Simonek worked at The Painted Turtle, a camp at Lake Hughes for children with chronic illnesses, and volunteered at the South Bay Conservatory, a children's performing arts group in Torrance. He also had volunteered with Big Brothers and Big Sisters in Orange County.
Posted by Amy King