ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV) – A longtime St. Louis area teacher is charged with rape and statutory sodomy after turning himself in, apparently in the mistaken belief that the statute of limitations had expired.
Donald Ingerson, 67, was charged with rape and second-degree statutory sodomy after telling the country prosecutor about the incidents.
Officials said he thought the statute of limitations had run out on the offenses when he admitted to the crimes.
St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch says Ingerson worked in five or six districts in the county from the 1960s through the 1990s.
"I’ve been doing this a long time, this is the first time we’ve had someone contact us and say I want to talk about what I did years ago and then come in and do it," McCulloch said.
McCulloch says Ingerson called his office June 4 and met with prosecutors Monday, when he allegedly admitted to sexual contact with two high school girls—one in the 1970s and one in the mid-1990s.
According to officials, Ingerson taught in the Ferguson-Florissant School District from 1987 to 2010. Ingerson was previously employed by the School District of University City from 1976 until 1981. He taught biology and coached football and wrestling at University City High School.
During his more than 20 years teaching in the district, Ingerson taught at Ferguson Middle and McCluer High School, where he also coached baseball.
A school official said he also worked at Ritenour as a part-time baseball coach. The official said he worked as a baseball coach and mentor at the school from June 2001 until September 2005, and then as the head freshman coach from February 2011 to April 2012.
Ingerson was arrested Monday at St. Louis County Police Headquarters, where he remains on $300,000 cash-only bond.
McCulloch says the statute of limitations for rape and sodomy varies, but he’s confident the alleged crimes can be prosecuted.
St. Louis County Police have already identified two victims, but believe there could be more.
90-percent of children who are molested are abused by someone they know... And trust.
That’s why Dr. Jerry Dunn, director of The Children’s Advocacy Center of St. Louis, says students are so vulnerable to a teacher turned predator.
“It goes back to having access to victims, being in an accepted position within a school setting, and quite frankly, having authority,” Dunn said.
Dunn says it’s crucial these school leaders talk about the case.
“I think increasing the awareness, helping their students to understand that this is an important thing to talk about.”
Anyone who thinks they were a victim of Ingerson is asked to call police at (314)-889-2341.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.