Cori Beard
Lake County Jail
Steve Helling
March 13, 2018 04:49 PM

A high school soccer coach from a Chicago suburb has been accused of sexually assaulting three male students — and authorities say they are interviewing at least three other possible victims.

Cori Beard, 28, has been charged with 12 counts of criminal sexual assault. She was an assistant soccer coach for both the boys and girls teams at Vernon Hills High School, a 1,200-student school north of Chicago.

Police say school administrators contacted authorities last Thursday after they learned about possible criminal conduct involving a student and a member of the high school staff. Investigators interviewed three students and got a statement from Beard, in which she admitted to having inappropriate relationships with the teens.

Beard is being held on $1 million bond, PEOPLE confirms. In a hearing on Tuesday, her attorney unsuccessfully petitioned for the bond to be reduced to $250,000.

“She has been extremely cooperative,” defense attorney Barry Sheppard told reporters after the court hearing, according to the Chicago Tribune. “She is particularly contrite. She gave a voluntary statement.”

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But prosecutors have opposed the reduction in bond. In court on Tuesday, Assistant State’s Attorney Eric Kalata told the court that Beard has already admitted to having sex with three students, and that authorities are interviewing three more potential victims.

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Kalata additionally told the judge that the sexual contact occurred “as recently as two weeks before her arrest.”

The presiding Circuit Judge, George Strickland, declined to reduce the $1 million bond, citing the number of potential victims and evidence that “the state has a strong case.”

The acts allegedly took place between December 2016 and February 2018, prosecutors allege. According to the school district, Beard had worked for them since the 2013-2014 school year.

Authorities are asking anyone with information regarding the investigation to call 847-247-4884.

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