Lafayette elementary school teacher bonds out of jail after arrest for sex crimes involving children

Joseph Kimerer (Image provided by Lafayette Police)
Published:
Updated:

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WTHR) - A Lafayette elementary school teacher bonded out on Saturday after he was jailed for allegedly instructing 12- and 13-year-old boys to perform lewd acts inside of a teachers' lounge after school.

Joseph Kimerer Jr., 46, is facing 13 counts of child exploitation, solicitation, and other sex-related charges.

Eyewitness News reporter Sandra Chapman tells us some of the claims date back to 2014 and police fear there are more victims. (Warning: The details are graphic.)

School was in session at Amelia Earhart Elementary Friday morning when Joseph Kimerer was taken into custody from his home.

The beloved fourth grade teacher is charged with 13 sex crimes for allegedly instructing 12- and 13-year-old boys to masturbate in a teachers' lounge at the school and then send him photos and videos of the lewd acts.

"Parents are in a little bit of shock right now," said Les Huddle, superintendent of the Lafayette School Corporation.

Mike Tevis has a granddaughter in the district and was distressed by what he heard.

"I don't understand how someone in this position could be that kind of person," said Tevis.

Superintendent Huddle said it was difficult news for him, too, describing how he felt.

"The knot in the stomach, like, I hope this isn't true," he told Eyewitness News.

Huddle said he learned police were investigating Kimerer on February 27 after a boy's parents saw inappropriate text messages from Kimerer.

"He was removed from the elementary and has not been back to the building," said Huddle, who said Kimerer was "reassigned to home" with pay during the investigation.

According to court records, Kimerer was providing one-on-one baseball training to boys after school at the elementary school where he worked. At least five of the boys say they were learning pitching techniques when Kimerer started "making strange requests, including sending nude pictures and videos..."

One 12-year-old said Kimerer showed him "how to view and look up pornography."

Another victim indicated Kimerer "used code words or phrases to see if (he) masturbated, such as asking if (the boy) had "done his homework."

Surveillance video captured from the school shows Kimerer "Walking a young boy…into the teacher's lounge."

Investigators say Kimerer admitted to asking for the pictures to determine the various stages of puberty. He also allegedly admitted his conversations may have gone too far with the boys. Police now fear there could be more victims than the five who have already provided information.

The investigation continues as the Lafayette School Corporation starts termination proceedings against Kimerer. The Lafayette School Corporation shared a statement about Kimerer after his arrest Friday.

FULL STATEMENT FROM LAFAYETTE SCHOOL CORPORATION:

3/9/2018

On Tuesday, February 27, 2018 it was brought to the attention of the Lafayette School Corporation administration that Earhart 4th grade teacher Mr. Joe Kimerer may have been acting in an inappropriate manner with school age children. The Department of Child Services and the Lafayette Police Department were immediately contacted and the teacher was removed from the classroom and school the same day and assigned to his home. Building access was revoked and the teacher has not been back at Earhart since that day.

An investigation was launched by the authorities which has resulted in the arrest of Mr. Kimerer today. Simultaneously, the district began its own investigation and is currently engaged in an employment termination process with the teacher.

We understand that these allegations will be very troubling to anyone who might have an association with Mr. Kimerer. The allegations are of the utmost gravity in that they implicate unprofessional conduct by a teacher towards a student. While this report is alarming, we want every parent and student to know that we will continue to provide a safe and nurturing environment for all students at Earhart Elementary and for all schools within the Lafayette School Corporation.

Should you have questions please contact Mr. Huddle. Contact information is below.

Les Huddle
Superintendent
lhuddle@lsc.k12.in.us
765-771-6000

According to his biography on the Earhart Elementary website, Kimerer is married with three children and has been teaching in Lafayette schools for 18 years.

He has been charged with 13 counts involving multiple victims:

  • Vicarious Sexual Gratification (Level 4 Felony)
  • Child Exploitation with intent to satisfy sex desires (Level 5 Felony)
  • Child Solicitation (Level 5 Felony)
  • Inappropriate Communication with a Child (A Misdemeanor)

The police investigation is ongoing and anyone with further information of possible additional victims should contact the Lafayette Police Department Detective Division at (765) 807-1250.

Filed under: