Bremen HS assistant principal accused of inappropriately touching student

MIDLOTHIAN, Ill. (WLS) -- An assistant principal at Bremen High School in Midlothian is accused of inappropriately touching a student. The administrator, who earns more than $100,000 a year, is in custody Tuesday with charges pending.

Police said the alleged incident happened in the office of Assistant Principal Joseph Simone, who had learned about a sports-related injury suffered by a 16-year-old female student.

Simone, 43, allegedly wrote the girl a hall pass to come to his office last Tuesday for the purpose of showing her "stretching tips".

"She, uh, did a couple of stretches. As he continued to work with her, he began to touch her in inappropriate areas," Midlothian Police Chief Harold Kaufman said.

"That's shocking to me to hear that because I always thought of him as a good guy because he always helps people, and he's always there for people. If you ever need advice, you can go to him and stuff," said Chris Valladares, a student at Bremen High School.

Police said the girl notified other staff members, who contacted the principal and law enforcement.

Simone, who is not a coach at the school, was put on administrative leave, but police said attempts to find Simone were initially unsuccessful.

"We went to his residence, and he wasn't home, or he wasn't answering the door. We continued to search for him for a couple days," Chief Kaufman said.

Authorities said Simone turned himself in to police on Tuesday with his attorney.

Though it's been a week since Simone was placed on leave, parents at Bremen High School said they hadn't been notified about his removal.

"For that to happen to that child, but she spoke. That's the good thing, that she spoke, and now things are going to get done," said Alma Valladares, a parent.

During a school board meeting Tuesday night, there was no mention of the allegations involving Simone.

Before the meeting, administrators said Simone is still getting paid.

"When we found out about it, I put him on administrative leave. We're doing our investigation. Right now the police are doing their investigation," Bremen High School Dist. 228 Supt. Bill Kendall said.

Simone has not been formally charged, but he's expected to face one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

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