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El Segundo Teacher Was Serial Child Molester, Authorities Say

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A fifth-grade teacher who worked for the El Segundo Unified School District has been charged by a grand jury with molesting 13 boys, mostly in the L.A. area.

The Daily Breeze reports that Jeffrey Simonek, 28, of Torrance, is facing 20 charges of lewd acts with children under 14 years old. The crimes were committed in his classroom among other places, authorities allege.

Simonek was arrested on $20 million bail in November, and is now in custody at Twin Towers jail in downtown L.A.

Although Simonek was first arrested a year ago, it was based on one incident that involved two boys. Prosecutors didn’t charge him at the time, hoping to give investigators time to uncover more crimes.

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The investigation grew to include alleged crimes against kids he supervised at camps as well as students in his classes. Sixteen of the incidents occurred in L.A. County; the other four were in Orange and Plumas counties, authorities believe.

After the initial charges came to light, his employment ended with the El Segundo Unified School District, the Breeze reported.

The paper also dug up this head-shaking nugget from a puff piece about Simonek published on a teaching website:

“I’m adventurous, and I just try things,” Simonek told the website. “And, I take what I’m best with and I manipulate it. I like to fail at things and make them better so that I have a better understanding of how to use them. I’m not afraid to try things. Sometimes it’s going to work, and if it completely blows up in my face I’m OK with that!”

Simonek has pleaded not guilty.