Vernon Hills High School soccer coach fired after sexual assault accusations

VERNON HILLS (Fox 32/Sun-Times Media Wire) - A north suburban Vernon Hills high school soccer coach accused of sexually assaulting students was fired Monday night.

The coach has been charged with 12 counts of criminal sexual assault after allegedly engaging in unlawful sex acts with at least 2 current students of Vernon Hills High School.

And now, police are following up with 4 more potential victims.

So far, police don't believe any of the encounters took place on school property. The four other potential victims, police say, have already graduated.

The district posted a statement on its website, saying in part “the safety and well-being of our 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."

Administrators at Vernon Hills High School contacted authorities Thursday after they learned about “possible criminal conduct involving a member of the Vernon High School Staff and a student,” according to a statement from Vernon Hills police.

Investigators learned that Beard, a part-time assistant soccer coach for both the boys’ and girls’ teams, was “involved in unlawful sexual acts with three current Vernon Hills High School boys” between December 2016 and February 2018, police said.

Beard has worked for Community High School District 128 since the 2013-2014 school year, according to a statement from the district.

Beard, who lives in Vernon Hills, was charged with 12 counts of criminal sexual assault, according to police. She is being held at the Lake County Jail with a bail amount of $1 million and her next court date was scheduled for March 13.

“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,” district officials said in a statement.

The district is providing counseling services to students and staff.

Anyone with more information about the investigation is asked to call police at (847) 247-4884.