UPDATE: A former Winnebago County Juvenile Detention Center officer is heading to prison after he plead guilty to sexually abusing children. 35-year-old Ellis Simmons was sentenced today to seven years in prison.
He was arrested in January 2012 for inappropriately touching a 7 and 8 year old. Simmons knew the children he abused outside of work. None of his victims were at the detention center or Rock River Academy where he also worked.
ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A detention officer at the Winnebago County Juvenile Detention Center has been charged with sexually abusing children. He also worked as a staff member at Rock River Academy.
33-year-old Ellis Simmons has been charged with sexually abusing a 7-year-old child and an 8-year-old child. Simmons has worked at the Juvenile Detention Center and the Rock River Academy since 2008. Police say he knew the children he abused outside of work and that the abuse was separate from his employment and started about six months ago. Winnebago County Court services say they don't suspect any other juveniles were abused, but Winnebago County State's Attorney Joe Bruscato urges possible victims to come forward. He is not accused of having sex with the children, just touching them inappropriately.
Simmons is being held at the Winnebago County Jail on a 100-thousand dollar bail. If convicted Simmons wouldn't necessarily go to jail. His offenses are eligible for probation. However, criminal sexual abuse of a minor can carry a three to seven year sentence.