A man who once taught at a Southern California elementary school is accused of molesting more than a dozen boys across the state, including students inside his classroom, police said.
Jeffrey Simonek, 28, of Torrance, was arrested in connection with a Los Angeles County grand jury indictment that alleges he molested boys in Los Angeles and Orange counties, and in northern California, according to the indictment obtained by The Daily Breeze.
Simonek taught fifth grade and once worked at Center Street School in El Segundo, El Segundo Police Sgt. Hugo Perez told NBC4.
The charges stem from alleged crimes that occurred between September 2011 and September 2012, with one additional crime that was alleged to have occurred in 2007, according to the indictment.
He was arrested Nov. 26, and pleaded not guilty at his Dec. 12 arraignment, the Daily Breeze reported.
Detectives began investigating Simonek in August 2012 after an anonymous report to the Department of Children and Family Services alleged he sexually assaulted two boys in his Center Street School classroom, the Daily Breeze reported. He was then placed on leave.
Simonek has volunteered and worked for several camps and organizations including The Painted Turtle in Lake Hughes, the South Bay Conservatory in Torrance, and Big Brothers and Big Sisters in Orange County, police said.
He is being held in lieu of $20 million bail and is facing 20 counts of lewd acts on a child under 14 years old, according to the indictment.