Originally created 03/05/02

Police accuse teacher of indecent proposals



KINGSLAND, Ga. - Eight days after a tutor was charged with molesting 12 Camden County children, a substitute teacher has been arrested on charges of enticing a Camden County High student for indecent purposes.

Shelly Simon, 40, of St. Marys, was arrested Saturday night after a Kingsland Police Department investigation into allegations she made several sexual advances toward a 15-year-old boy Thursday and Friday on school property, according to an arrest report.

Several students told school officials that Ms. Simon said she liked the boy, whom she later called out of another class to bring him into a class she was teaching, police said.

She tried to lift the boy's shirt to examine his abdominal muscles and made several comments about his body to other students in the class, reports said.

On another occasion, police said, Ms. Simon invited the juvenile to accompany her to her car in the school's parking lot, where she made sexual comments to the youth.

Ms. Simon was escorted off school property Friday afternoon after high school administrators learned of the incident and will not be allowed back into a classroom until the investigation is completed, said Edwin Davis, the assistant superintendent of the Camden County Board of Education.

Authorities began the investigation that led to Ms. Simon's arrest after other students told high school administrators about the incidents, which were immediately reported to Kingsland police, Mr. Davis said.

Ms. Simon was arrested about 7 p.m. Saturday at her home, reports said.

Kingsland police investigators said they were still investigating the incident but have found no indication that any sexual physical contact occurred between Ms. Simon and the youth.

Saturday night's arrest comes after molestation charges filed eight days earlier against Petty Officer 1st Class Elloy Torrez Gutierrez, 35, a Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base sailor.

Petty Officer Gutierrez is accused of molesting 12 children who he befriended while tutoring at two Camden County elementary schools and while volunteering as a youth basketball coach and Cub Scout leader at Kings Bay.

Those children, ages 7 to 15, were boys and girls, police said.

Petty Officer Gutierrez is also charged with molesting a youth when he was stationed at Bangor Naval Submarine Base in Washington state before his arrival at Kings Bay in 1997, according to arrest reports.

Mr. Davis said he didn't know whether the pupils who reported the incidents were motivated by the intense publicity after the accusations against the sailor.

"I don't know if this had anything to do with it, but it certainly comes close on the heels of that incident," Mr. Davis said.

School officials will conduct a "full-scale investigation" into the incident, he said.