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   These are the stories we are working on for this week's newspaper:
  • Deputy shooting fallout: The children of a Portola man who was shot and killed at Eastern Plumas Health Care last year are seeking millions of dollars in damages.
  • The trout must go: The state is planning to pull all of the brook trout out of a Plumas County lake in order to protect the yellow-legged frog.
  • Inspections delayed: Cal Fire was scheduled to begin property inspections this week, but decided to wait until the public could better understand what the inspectors are doing.

Former teacher, camp counselor accused of molesting Plumas County boys

Teacher-molestLaura Beaton
Staff Writer


A Los Angeles County Grand Jury handed down an indictment against El Segundo resident Jeffrey Thomas Simonek, 28, for 20 counts of lewd acts upon a child under age 14.

Three of the 20 counts occurred in Plumas County between June 1 and Aug. 31, 2011, according to the indictment filed Nov. 15 in LA Superior Court.

The two alleged Plumas County victims were both boys, as were the other 11 named victims from LA and Orange counties.

The alleged perpetrator was arrested more than a year ago on similar charges, according to the Torrance-based Daily Breeze. Simonek was a fifth-grade teacher at Center Street School in Torrance when he was arrested Oct. 24, 2012, and accused of molesting two fifth-grade boys in his classroom the previous year, according to the Daily Breeze.

Simonek was also under investigation for similar alleged crimes that may have taken place at several camps and schools where he was a volunteer. A few days after the 2012 arrest, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office announced it would not file charges against Simonek at that time.

“I think that the investigation that has been done to this point definitely points toward him committing the crimes he’s suspected of, and I think we’ll be getting more victims,” El Segundo police Detective Jeff Humphrey told the Daily Breeze.

According to Twitter posts, Simonek was a staff alumnus of Walton’s Grizzly Lodge Summer Camp in Portola and planned to attend a staff reunion in Chico on Feb. 20, 2010. “I am IN! Chico and Summer 2010 here I come!” Simonek tweeted Jan. 20, 2010. He also responded to tweets from camp CEO Julie Walton in November 2009 and August 2012.

Simonek pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Dec. 12, and is being held on $20 million bail in Los Angeles, the Daily Breeze reported.


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