Two of 13 molestations of boys pinned to a former teacher being held in lieu of $20 million bail in downtown Los Angeles happened in Orange County, according to authorities.
Jeffrey Thomas Simonek, 28, previously volunteered with the Tustin-based Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Orange County and the South Bay Conservatory children's performing arts group in Torrance.
He had worked at The Painted Turtle, a camp at Lake Hughes for children with chronic illnesses, and Center Street Elementary School in El Segundo, where he allegedly molested two boys in his fifth-grade classroom.
The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services received an anonymous report in August 2012 about those accusations, which sparked a police investigation and grand jury indictment of Simonek.
The El Segundo Unified School District fired Simonek shortly after the allegations surfaced, and he was arrested on Nov. 26.
Besides nine molestations in LA County and the two in Orange County, he is accused of two more in Plumas County east of Chico. Simonek, who is being held at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown LA, faces 20 counts of lewd acts upon a child under 14 years old.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.