Police: More potential victims in Vernon Hills High School sex assault case

Updated 3/12/2018 9:52 PM
  • Cori Beard

    Cori Beard

Police say they are following up with four more potential victims of a part-time assistant soccer coach at Vernon Hills High School who faces felony charges for engaging in sexual activity with three male students.

A bond review hearing for Cori Beard, 28, of Vernon Hills is scheduled for Tuesday. Police announced Saturday she had been charged with 12 counts of criminal sexual assault in connection with unlawful acts that occurred between December 2016 and February 2018. Her bond was set at $1 million.

Vernon Hills police Deputy Chief Patrick Zimmerman said Monday investigators are following up with four more potential victims, who are former students.

"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," he said.

No additional charges were announced. The investigation is considered active, and anyone with information should contact investigators at (847) 247-4884.

Meanwhile, forensic analysis of cellphones and social media are pending, he added. Analysts are able to recover deleted items from a cellphone or computer, such as text messages or pictures, Zimmerman said.

Beard was fired after the school board voted unanimously to terminate her Monday night.

Beard was employed by Libertyville-Vernon Hills High School District 128 for three years. She was a part-time assistant soccer coach for both the boys and girls soccer teams at Vernon Hills High, according to police.

Vernon Hills High School Principal Jon Guillaume on Sunday evening hosted a meeting with the school's boys and girls soccer team members and their parents. Voluntary meetings were held Monday morning with all employees at Vernon Hills and Libertyville high schools, and the district office, according to Mary Todoric, director of communications.

The district on Sunday posted a statement on its website saying Beard had been employed by the district since the 2013-14 school year.

She joined the staff at Libertyville High School as a student aide in the Special Services department, which provides special education and related services, according to the district.

"The district will continue to provide resources and support for its students and employees," according to Todoric.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Vernon Hills police, talk to a teacher, school official or counselor, or have a family, member, friend or advocate report information on their behalf.

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