NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A former juvenile justice worker has been convicted of molesting two girls under his care in a Manhattan courthouse. But he was acquitted of a more serious charge of raping a third girl.
Jurors delivered their verdict Friday in Tony Simmons’ trial. He was found guilty of 12 counts of using his position to force himself sexually upon the teenage defendants he was supposed to be supervising.
When Simmons was led out in handcuffs, his daughter became hysterical screaming “not my father, not my father.” Court officers rushed to her aid and escorted her out of the courtroom.
His accusers testified that Simmons abruptly began fondling them after taking them aside in the Family Court building. At the time, they were 15 and 16.
One of the three women that Simmons was accused of attacking spoke with CBS 2′s Pablo Guzman Friday.
“He needs to be incarcerated and he needs to be treated like he’s a convict, like he’s a child-rapist,” the woman said.
Simmons, however, was acquitted of the rape charge. “I just feel like justice wasn’t completely served on my behalf,” Simmons’ accuser told Guzman.
Simmons’ original plea deal called for only probation, but a public outcry convinced a judge to set it aside. He now faces up to four years in prison when he is sentenced next month.
Sonia Ossorio of the National Organization for Woman was among those who led the protests against the plea deal. She said Friday’s decision signaled a victory.
“The fact that Tony Simmons is now sitting in jail, where he belongs. This is justice,” Ossorio said.
Simmons’ lawyer said the accusers were troubled girls who made the allegations hoping to get out of custody or get a lawsuit payout.
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