The teacher abused students at Jackie Robinson School in Springfield Gardens. Credit: Metro Photo Archive
A former Queens public school teacher has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for sexually abusing five children between the ages of 8 and 10 over a three-year period.
Simon A. Watts, 42, of St. Albans was convicted in June of three counts of second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child, two counts of first-degree sexual abuse, one count of forcible touching and five counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
Watts was the third- and fourth-grade teacher to the four girls and one boy he abused at P.S. 15, the Jackie Robinson School, in Springfield Gardens.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said all of the incidents occurred at the school, many during class time. The abuse occurred between September 2007 and March 2010.
In one incident, Watts was sitting at his desk reviewing a 9-year-old student's work when he took her hand and put it on his penis over his clothing, Brown said.
The child told her mother what happened and Watts was removed from the school the next day. Following his arrest, the other four students came forward and said Watts either touched them in a sexual manner or forced them to touch him in a sexual manner.