We are currently developing a multilayer avalanche photodiode (APD)-based detector for use in positron emission tomography (PET), which utilizes thin continuous crystals. In this paper, we developed a Monte Carlo-based simulation to aid in the design of such detectors. We measured the performance of a detector comprising a single thin continuous crystal (3.1 mm x 9.5 mm, x 9.5 mm) of lutetium yttrium ortho-silicate (LYSO) and an APD array (4 x 4) elements; each element 1.6 mm(2) and on a 2.3 mm pitch. We showed that a spatial resolution of better than 2.12 mm is achievable throughout the crystal provided that we adopt a Statistics Based Positioning (SBP) Algorithm. We then used Monte Carlo simulation to model the behavior of the detector. The accuracy of the Monte Carlo simulation was verified by comparing measured and simulated parent datasets (PDS) for the SBP algorithm. These datasets consisted of data for point sources at 49 positions uniformly distributed over the detector area. We also calculated the noise in the detector circuit and verified this value by measurement. The noise value was included in the simulation. We show that the performance of the simulation closely matches the measured performance. The simulations were extended to investigate the effect of different noise levels on positioning accuracy. This paper showed that if modest improvements could be made in the circuit noise then positioning accuracy would be greatly improved. In summary, we have developed a model that can be used to simulate the performance of a variety of APD-based continuous crystal PET detectors.