Sex offender accused of molesting child at McDonalds

Jefferson Benjamin Simmons, suspect

February 7, 2011 2:23:51 PM PST
Jefferson Simmons used a walker to wheel himself into the jailhouse courtroom in Wake County Monday. He obviously has some sort of affliction which causes him to shake and hold his head back.

Simmons' attorney says the six-foot tall, 52-year-old man who weighs more than 280 pounds is often misunderstood.

"He's more childlike than you perceive when you see this grown man that's gray haired. And he does have a degenerative physical problem," offered defense attorney Mark Perry.

But investigators say none of that should fool anyone.

They believe Simmons knew what he was doing when he showed up at the McDonald's kid's playground near Crabtree Valley mall two days in a row.

They say he knows that as an ex-con, convicted child molester, and registered sex offender he wasn't supposed to be there. And, they stand by their charge that on one of those days he inappropriately touched at least one child there.

ABC11 looked at his criminal record and discovered Simmons was first arrested more than 30 years ago. Since then, the charges of obscene phone calls, assaults on women and children, and child molestation continued to pile up.

He remains in the Wake County jail under $250,000 bond.

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