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El Segundo teacher accused of sexual assaults

October 25, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A fifth-grade teacher is behind bars, accused of sexually assaulting two male students in a classroom at Center Street Elementary School in El Segundo.

According to police, Jeffrey Simonek was a popular teacher. They say he was also involved in various youth organizations and camps throughout Southern California, including the Boys and Girls Club of Orange County.

Simonek, 27, had been on administrative leave from the school since August when police began investigating him after Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services received an anonymous tip. He was arrested on Wednesday and charged with lewd acts with a child under 14 years old.

Investigators say he sexually assaulted at least two boys in the classroom last year.

They've since followed leads that led them to the Painted Turtle Camp in Northern California, where he worked from 2005 to 2011 as a camp counselor for boys ages 6-11. They say there may be victims as far away as Nevada and Colorado.

Simonek is due in court on Friday. He is being held on $100,000 bail

El Segundo School Superintendent Geoff Yants said in a statement, "We understand this is a difficult and confusing time for all those involved in our school community. The safety and well being of our students is always our top priority, and we are providing support and assistance as needed to our parents, students and staff."

El Segundo police believe there may be more victims out there. If you have any information that could help investigators, you're urged to contact Detective Jeff Humphrey at (310) 524-2284.


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