Lindbergh teacher charged with sexually assaulting 16-year-old student

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on August 21, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 9:02 AM

(KMOV) -- A middle school teacher and coach in the Lindbergh School District faces charges for allegedly sexually assaulting a student more than 16 years ago.

James Wilder, 47, was charged Wednesday with six counts of second-degree statutory sodomy.

According to court documents, Wilder engaged in oral sex with a 16-year-old student between Aug. 1, 1996 and Sept. 21, 1997.

Police said the victim at the time was a Lindbergh High School sophomore and was coached by Wilder, who coached the school's cross country and track team.

Authorities said during that time Wilder and the victim developed a mentor-student relationship.

Wilder, who works as a teacher at Sperreng Middle School, was arrested on campus Tuesday afternoon.

Police are currently investigating the possibility of additional victims.

Wilder's bond was set at $50,000 cash only.

Authorities said they arrested Wilder on the allegations in 2008, but there was not enough evidence at the time to charge him and the school district reinstated him after a month suspension.

Parents were made aware of the arrest when Principal Dr. Mark Eggers sent a letter sent via email Tuesday afternoon.  

The district sent another letter out to parents on Wednesday. 

"Mr. Wilder has been placed on administrative leave until the police have completed their investigation. We will cooperate fully with the St. Louis County Police and provide any information or assistance they request," said Lindbergh Schools Superintendent Dr. Jim Simpson.

Click here to read the complete letter.

News 4’s Lindsay Bramson spoke with parents in the Lindbergh School District who were shocked by the allegations.

“We put them on such high pedestals and they really got to own up to it and they know that going in so the thought of even trying something should never have come into mind,” one parent said.

“I was a little surprised it goes back that many years and that individual wouldn’t have brought the situation up earlier,” said another.

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