High school soccer coach pleads not guilty to sex with students

VERNON HILLS, Ill. — A former suburban Chicago high school soccer coach has pleaded not guilty to charges accusing her of sexually assaulting two male students.

Cori Beard of Vernon Hills faces a dozen counts of criminal sexual assault involving the boys. The 28-year-old entered the plea Wednesday in Lake County court.

Defense attorney Barry Sheppard asked a judge to reduce Beard’s bail from $1 million, arguing she has no previous criminal background, is not a flight risk and the boys weren’t physically harmed.

The judge denied the request.

Beard is accused of assaulting the boys while she was coach of the freshman boys and girls soccer teams, from late 2015 to early this year. Prosecutors say more charges are possible and the case remains under investigation.

Beard’s case is due back in court May 9.

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