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John Shannon Simpson, 41, was arrested Tuesday in Lee County, Fla., on charges of burglary, kidnapping and sexual assault.

After he kissed her, rubbed her leg and said he loved her, John Shannon Simpson walked through his ex-girlfriend's kitchen. He stopped at the knives.

"I know you have a new boyfriend," he allegedly told her Tuesday morning. "Don't get an innocent man killed."

His ex-girlfriend said Simpson carried her to the bathroom, stripped her, put her in the shower, penetrated her with his finger and performed oral sex on her. Later, the Lee County, Fla., Sheriff's Office charged him with burglary, kidnapping and sexual assault, and he remained in jail Friday afternoon in lieu of a $155,000 bond.

As stories of his arrest spread across the country, families of U.S. Marines gleefully shared Simpson's mugshot on a Facebook group dedicated to his charity, a charity under scrutiny by federal investigators. This is what they had waited for: Simpson behind bars.

Though, some of them conceded online, they didn't want his arrest to happen like this.

"GOD I LOVE KARMA!" wrote Renee Dixon, the mother of a Marine who once volunteered for Simpson.

Meanwhile, as she watched the anti-Simpson comments pile up, Cathy Wells poured a drink. Then, she poured a second one, in honor of her son, Lance Cpl. Squire "Skip" Wells.

After Skip died, along with four other servicemen, during the July 15 attack in Chattanooga, Cathy Wells and Simpson joined forces, raising money for his charity, Marines & Mickey. Simpson said donations to his nonprofit sent Marines to Disney theme parks, as well as Marine parents to boot camp graduations.

Wells did not know at the time multiple families had reported Simpson to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, claiming Simpson was pocketing most of the money raised on GoFundMe accounts for his charity. However, in February 2016, Wells publicly divorced herself from the charity, saying Simpson did not have the military credentials he claimed.

While the charity's website advertised Simpson as a 20-year veteran Reconnaissance Marine and drill instructor, his official record showed that he in fact served three years as a financial technician. In 1997, he left after an arrest, a court martial and an involuntary discharge under the lowest rank possible.

Wells, who said she loaned Simpson $75,000 and helped him raise another $85,000, reported Simpson to the FBI last year. She accused him of stolen valor, a federal offense for profiting off a lie about your military record. An FBI spokesman has not confirmed the investigation.

But Wells said she has continued to speak with an FBI agent off and on for months. Most recently, she said, they spoke this week, about Simpson's arrest. Now, if nothing else, investigators know where to find him.

"I am happy he is where he's at," Wells said Friday afternoon. "I am sad he went the direction that he went."

Last year, Simpson denied the allegations. He told the Times Free Press that he never lied about his military career, even though government records contradict his website's claims. He also denied keeping most of the money raised for Marines & Mickey, like some parents claimed.

"It's just the class of people they are," he said of his accusers. "These people will always gossip about something. They have such a sorry life."

The woman who accused Simpson of sexual assault this week had actually been one of the final Marines & Mickey supporters. Last year, after Wells asked the charity to stop using her son's image online, the woman responded in a Facebook message: "I donated $3,000 total since July and thought you were a friend and this is how you come at me Damn sad, I will never do anything for anyone again."

The woman moved from New York to Fort Myers, Fla., to be with Simpson. She opened a hot dog and hamburger restaurant with him in September, according to an article on a local website.

"It's a labor of love," said Simpson, who identified himself in the article as "Shannon Williams."

But in October, the woman told the sheriff's office, she realized Simpson was involved in criminal activity. She ended their relationship. She said he started harassing her, texting her lewd pictures and calling her from random phone numbers.

On Jan. 5, she applied for a restraining order, but a judge denied it. She told the sheriff's office she didn't provide the proper documentation in court that day. On Jan. 7, she called the police after someone vandalized the restaurant. They stole four umbrellas and three surfboards that had been used as signs.

"Happy Birthday Doll," the person wrote on the back door. "Love you."

On Sunday, she said, Simpson showed up at a restaurant where she was eating with her children. On Tuesday, as she sat on her back porch, she said Simpson walked in through a screen door. This is what she told the sheriff's office happened next:

She texted a friend, telling her Simpson was there. The friend called the sheriff's office, asking for someone to make sure she was OK. Simpson, meanwhile, slapped her buttocks with a ping pong paddle, carried her to the bathroom and took her clothes off. When she resisted, she said Simpson carried her into the shower and sexually assaulted her. Shortly after, a sheriff's sergeant arrived.

Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at 423-757-6476 or tjett@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @LetsJett.

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