New victim statements could revive Lindbergh High School sex abuse case

FOX Files

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – There’s a possible revival in the high school sex case that was feared to have died with the victim. A former Lindbergh High School track coach was charged with sodomy in 2013 but the charges were dropped when his accuser, Emilie Morris, died.

Emilie’s mom, sister, and friend all spoke via Zoom today about keeping Emilie’s voice alive and how it may finally be bringing more people forward.

“Excited isn’t the right word, but we’re grateful to the victims for having the courage to come forward,” said Andrea Morris, Emilie’s sister.

Emilie’s mother, Joan Morris, added: “There have been so many times along this road where we were just shut down. So, I’m really grateful to everyone who’s coming forward and I’m encouraged but I need to hold back because there’s no point in speculating.”

They first sat down with FOX 2 in 2018. Emilie died suspiciously after recording evidence of a sex crime involving her former Lindbergh High School track coach. Criminal charges against the coach died with her.

“I don’t think Emilie dying was the end of her story and this week has taught us all that,” said Christine Lieber, Emilie’s friend. “There are so many people that need help and don’t need to live in silence anymore.”

Lieber set up a Facebook page last week called Emilie’s Page to keep the conversation going now that Emilie’s story recently appeared in People magazine and a documentary on the Oxygen network.

“I’ve had chills since last Sunday,” Lieber said. “I haven’t slept a lot because we’ve had so many victims come forward.”

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell confirmed his office has recently been contacted by people with allegations that are now being investigated.

“Because of the complexity of the many changes over the years to the Missouri statute of limitations that govern statutory rape and sodomy, victims of these despicable crimes should never assume that the crime committed against them is too old to be prosecuted,” he said. “We encourage all sex crime victims to come forward so that their case can be investigated in light of the facts, evidence and statute of limitations.”

Andrea said momentum with the case helps with coping.

Lieber added: “With so many victims coming forward, it’s comforting that all these victims are together now and Emilie was by herself. So, I think that power in the numbers and, certainly in this case, I think we will see justice.”

FOX 2 is not naming the former coach at this time because he currently faces no charges. The day he was arrested in 2013 was his last day at Lindbergh school.  Two years later, when Morris died and the criminal case was dropped police shared their evidence with the school and it led to an agreement to terminate his teaching contract in 2015.

FOX 2 called him today for a comment but he has not responded. We also reached out to an attorney who represented him during his separation from Lindbergh High School. The attorney offered no comment.

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