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Joseph A. Simone, 43, Mokena, an assistant principal at Bremen High School in Midlothian, was arrested last week after he allegedly touched a 16-year-old female Bremen student in an inappropriate way.
Simone served as department chairman of the Humanities Division at Reavis from 2006 until he left to become assistant principal at Bremen High School in 2010, according to Daniel Riordan, superintendent of Reavis High School District 220.
“I’m sad, I’m shocked,” Riordan said concerning the allegations against Simone.
Riordan said Simone was well liked by coworkers and consistently received positive evaluations while employed at Reavis.
“We never had a problem with him, he did a good job for us. He left on is own accord in 2010 for a promotion [with Bremen]. It’s a sad situation,” Riordan said.
According to a statement from Dr. Bill Kendall, superintendent of Bremen High School District 228, “The District was first made aware of an allegation by a student that Dr. Simone had acted inappropriately towards her on January 12, 2016.”
Upon hearing the allegation, School District 228 officials contacted the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Midlothian Police Department which launched an investigation.
Last week the Cook County State's Attorney's office charged Simone with aggravated criminal sexual abuse and aggravated battery. He appeared at the Markham Courthouse Thursday for a bond hearing where a judge set his bail at $250,000.
“These charges are shocking to the District and the conduct alleged within these charges clearly falls outside of our core values and the expectations we hold for all of our staff members,” Kendall said.
The Daily Southtown reported the charges stem from an incident which took place in Simone’s office on Jan. 12 when he allegedly made inappropriate physical contact with the student while he was alone with her.
After conducting an internal investigation regarding the allegation, School District 228 placed Simone on administrative leave without pay.
“District 228 will move forward and take any and all appropriate actions against Dr. Simone based upon the results of the investigations in this matter,” Kendall said.
Simone’s next court date is scheduled for Feb. 10.