Lindbergh teacher arrested for alleged sex abuse
Superintendent says district investigation found 'no credible evidence'
December 17, 2008 - A Lindbergh School District teacher arrested last week for alleged sexual abuse of a female student had not been charged at press time.
St. Louis County Police Media Relations Officer Tracy Panus said the educator, a 43-year-old man who teaches at Sperreng Middle School, has been released pending a warrant application.
On Dec. 9, the teacher was arrested at the middle school for alleged second-degree statutory sodomy, according to Panus.
"About a month and a half ago, it was brought to our attention," she said. "These allegations were made against one of their teachers for sexual allegations that were made regarding last school year — the '07-'08 year — and the beginning of this school year."
The girl who made the accusations is now a freshman at Lindbergh High School.
Panus said the student alleges that the abuse began last year when she still attended Sperreng Middle School.
Lindbergh Superintendent Jim Simpson said while the teacher is now on paid administrative leave, the district investigated the allegations more than a month ago and "found no credible evidence" of abuse.
Because of new evidence recently brought to the attention of police, the teacher was arrested.
"(The teacher) is on administrative leave as of (Dec. 10), and it's his second administrative leave," Simpson said. "Of course, this case is not new. This thing is well over a month old. So when the allegation was first made by the student, the district placed (the teacher) on administrative leave and we did a thorough, monthlong investigation. And we came up with the conclusion that we could find no credible evidence and that he was brought back into the classroom under the assumption of you're innocent until proven guilty. Of course ... any kind of allegations are turned over to DFS (Department of Family Services) and to the police. And so they were doing their investigations. But we didn't know where the police investigation was going until (Dec. 9) when we were surprised that they arrived and took the teacher into custody. And that precipitated in informing our parents via e-mail ...
"Our internal investigation, exhaustive as it was, found no credible evidence. We are now waiting for whatever evidence the St. Louis County Police have because no one knows what that is. And so, what evidence they have will influence our decision. We are anxiously awaiting to find out what evidence they do have because obviously they must have some to take a man into custody."
Simpson emphasized that no current Sperreng pupils have been at risk.
"No current Sperreng students are in any way or have been in any kind of harm's way or any kind of at-risk situation," Simpson said. "All Sperreng students are perfectly safe 100 percent. Parents do not have to wonder in any way about that in relationship to this case."