Police in suburban Chicago have said they are speaking to additional potential victims of a female high school soccer coach.
Cori Beard, 28, was initially charged with 12 counts of criminal sexual assault in relation to three alleged victims, and cops in Vernon Hills, Illinois said on Monday they are speaking with four more.
‘All of these males have since graduated from Vernon Hills High School but were attending the high school when there may have been criminal conduct on the part of Ms. Beard between her and the boys,’ Vernon Hills police Deputy Chief Patrick Zimmerman told the Daily Herald.
No additional charges have yet been announced, however.
Illinois high school assistant soccer coach Cori Beard, 28 (left and right) is facing 12 counts of criminal sexual assault for engaging in sex acts with three male students at Vernon Hills High School
Beard, who has been an assistant coach for both the boys’ and girls’ soccer teams at Vernon Hills High School since 2013, engaged in at least a dozen sex acts between December 2016 and February 2018
The investigation began when a parent of one of the students contacted a school employee, who contacted police, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Beard was taken into questioning on Thursday evening and charged the following day.
Police believe Beard, who has been an assistant coach for both the boys’ and girls’ soccer teams at Vernon Hills High School since 2013, engaged in at least a dozen sex acts between December 2016 and last month.
Vernon Hills Police Chief Patrick Kreis declined to say on Saturday whether the students involved played soccer for Beard.
Currently, police do not believe the 12 acts occurred on school property.
‘At least some of the crimes occurred at Beard’s residence,’ Kreis said, adding the boys were under 17 years old when at least some of the conduct took place.
Investigators interviewed Beard on Thursday night and worked with parents of the students and the Lake County Children’s Advocacy Center to interview the students.
She was charged on Friday with 12 counts of criminal sexual assault for two of the students and is being held at the Lake County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond.
She is due to appear in court next on March 13.
Currently, police do not believe the 12 acts occurred on school property (pictured) and that at least some occurred at Beard’s residence
Beard (left and right) is currently being held at the Lake County Jail in lieu of $1million bond. She is due to appear in court next on March 13
In a statement released on Saturday afternoon, district officials said the board of education would take action on Beard’s dismissal at its next meeting, scheduled for March 19.
‘The safety and well-being of students and staff is our top priority, and Community High School District 128 regrets the pain some individuals may be experiencing as a result of recent allegations made regarding the conduct of District 128 employee Cori Beard,’ the statement reads.
‘Upon learning of her possible criminal conduct involving a student, the administration, working cooperatively with the police department, took measures to assure that Beard would have no further contact with students or staff.’
The district is providing counseling to students and staff members, according to the statement.