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James Wilder, Lindbergh Middle School Teacher, Charged With Statutory Sodomy

Categories: Crime, Education

james-wilder.jpg
James Wilder.
A St. Louis county middle school physical education teacher and high school coach is accused of having a "long term sexual relationship" with a minor -- seventeen years ago.

The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office has charged James Bliss Wilder III, 47, with six counts of second-degree statutory sodomy, arresting him at Sperreng Middle School yesterday. A $50,000 cash-only bond has been set.

Allegations surfaced this summer, concerning acts that took place between August 1, 1996 and September 21, 1997, police say. At the time, the victim was a sixteen-year-old Lindbergh High female sophomore, who had Wilder as her girls cross country and track coach, cops say.

She apparently had a "mentor/student relationship" with him, officials note.

Wilder coaches at the high school today and also teaches gym at the middle school -- where he has been employed for twenty years.

The probable cause statement doesn't have a whole lot of detail, but says that Wilder engaged in oral sex with the victim multiple times when she was sixteen.

Some of the acts may have happened at Lindbergh High School, according to the Post-Dispatch, which notes that Wilder was arrested in 2008 for sex abuse allegations involving a different girl, but wasn't charged.

The counts are considered Class C felonies, punishable by up to seven years behind bars. Wilder lives on the 800 block of Totem Woods Court in Manchester, police say.

Beth Johnston, director of community relations for the Lindbergh School District, told the Post, "We are troubled and disturbed when we receive allegations such as this. We want our parents to know we'll do whatever we can to cooperate with police."

Here's the short probable cause statement from county prosecutors:

PC Statement

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.

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12 comments
msme.tami
msme.tami

Why did it take 17 YEARS for this woman to come forward????  Something isn't setting right here....

hixson
hixson

Those that prey on children are the worst. Hope that BJ was worth prison time

Jen Buffy
Jen Buffy

Shit, this was happening while I was there! I remember him.

Justin Torres
Justin Torres

how about some good news for a change..I love you RFT but you keep bringin me down

Barrett Nangle
Barrett Nangle

all 6 counts carry a possible 7 yr sentence..the judge could decide to have all charges to run consecutively.

Savage Sun
Savage Sun

These kind of cases are really difficult because the general logic & natural expectation is to believe the alleged victim (which I do, especially considering the allegations brought against him in '08), while at the same time, we are suppose to view the alleged perpetrator as being innocent until proven guilty. Regardless, I support the state having a statute of limitations of much less than 16 years on these types of cases, unless the alleged victim has some developmental/mental disability or there are other very unique circumstances justifying coming forward so long after the alleged crime took place.

Blake Harris
Blake Harris

Sounds like a 17 year old case of he said she said. What kind of actual evidence could they have after all these years.

dalediversity
dalediversity topcommenter

I heard that she lead him on! That little trollop! 

Travis Maurer
Travis Maurer

Punishable up to 7 years. Yet I got 15 for growing a plan on my first offense. iruossiM

alaynna
alaynna

@dalediversity  Every time i see your response to something it is all for the accused...I do believe that you are a true sick person that needs help!!!! Do u have nothing better to do with your time other than irritating people???? Get some help before you either rape or murder a child !!!!! Sick Bastard!!!


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