Education

Cedar Rapids school custodian accused in sexual abuse of teen

Now on leave, he has worked in dozen schools over 27 years

Michael Beard
Michael Beard

CEDAR RAPIDS — A man arrested last month and accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl over a period of two years is a longtime Cedar Rapids schools custodian.

Michael Lynn Beard, 53, has been a custodian in a dozen schools in the Cedar Rapids school district for the past 27 years. He most recently worked at Madison Elementary School, according to the district.

The alleged sexual abuse did not occur on school grounds, according to a criminal complaint.

The district placed Beard on administrative leave, district spokeswoman Akwi Nji said in a statement.

Before joining Madison Elementary’s staff, Beard had worked at Hoover, Grant, Pierce, Coolidge, Truman and Arthur elementary schools; at McKinley, Harding and Taft middle schools; and at Jefferson and Kennedy high schools.

He was arrested Aug. 27 and faces four counts of third-degree sexual abuse.

According to the criminal complaint, a 15-year-old girl told police Beard began sexually abusing her in June 2017 when she was 13. The abuse, police told The Gazette, happened at a residence in Cedar Rapids, most recently in August.

Comments: (319) 398-8330; molly.duffy@thegazette.com

Kat Russell contributed to this report.

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