ALLEGAN, Mich. (WOOD) — A man is accused of sexual abuse of a student while he was the aquatics director for Allegan Public Schools.
Scott Simmons’ employment at the school district was terminated, Superintendent James Antoine said in a letter to families posted online Tuesday.
Court records show Simmons, 42, faces four counts: third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim who is a student, a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison; aggravated possession of child sexually abusive material and using a computer to commit a crime, both 10-year felonies; and fourth-degree CSC with a victim who is a student, a two-year high court misdemeanor.
A document written by an investigating deputy and filed with the court says the investigation began Sept. 20 when a police officer found Simmons and the student, who is 16 or 17, alone in a car at a park.
As investigators followed up, the teen and Simmons both admitted there had been sexual contact, court documents say. Deputies say a search of their cellphones and GPS data showed conversations dating back to late August, indicated the two spent time alone together and revealed that Simmons had viewed explicit images of the teen and that he sent at least one explicit image.
In a recorded meeting with the superintendent, according to the court documents, Simmons said he was “forced” into the situation and that it was “an elaborate scheme to destroy him.”
The teen’s parents said that they knew that Simmons was speaking to the teen but did not know the two were meeting outside of school.
Records show Simmons posted a $2,500 bond and was released Tuesday. Arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 1.
Antoine said the district would continue to work with investigators as the case progresses.
“The well-being and safety of our students and staff remain our top priorities,” he wrote. “Allegan Public Schools holds all employees to the highest standards of professionalism and conduct, and we take immediate action when these standards are not upheld.”
He called on anyone with information about the case to call the Allegan County Sheriff’s Office at 269.673.0500. Parents with concerns were advised to call Antoine.
The school district, sheriff’s office and prosecutor’s office declined to comment to News 8 Tuesday.
—News 8’s Demetrios Sanders contributed to this report.