Donald Ingerson of Ely confesses rape thinking statute of limitations is up, gets arrested

In trying to clear his conscience, Ingerson got a lot more than he bargained for.
In trying to clear his conscience, Ingerson got a lot more than he bargained for.

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Donald Ingerson, 67, taught science and coached baseball at St. Louis-area high schools from the 1970s up through last spring, when he retired and moved to Ely, Minnesota.

During his teaching career, Ingerson apparently sexually assaulted at least two students, one in 1974 and another in 1995. But the assaults, at least one of which included rape, were never reported to school officials or the police and Ingerson was able to wrap up his career without punishment.

Though the assaults remained between himself and his victims, Ingerson was beating himself up over what he'd done. In June, he placed an unsolicited call to St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch and confessed to the assaults, reportedly because he wanted to clear his conscience. Ingerson did so in the belief that the statute of limitation had expired, thus exempting him from any criminal culpability -- but he was mistaken.

From St. Louis' Riverfront Times:

Ingerson allegedly committed the assaults in 1974 and 1995; the statute of limitations is 30 years. McCulloch's legal opinion is that the 30 years starts ticking from the time the victim becomes an adult, meaning he can prosecute both cases -- a prosecution that begins with an uncoerced confession seemingly already in hand.

But wait, there's more. Ingerson made his fateful phone call in June. In the intervening months, investigators tracked down the two victims, told them of the new developments and they both confirmed the assaults.

At that point the investigators contacted Ingerson at his home in Minnesota and asked him to drive down to St. Louis to discuss the assaults with them. When Ingerson arrived, he was arrested and charged with rape and statutory sodomy. He's being held in county jail on $300,000 cash-only bond.

He drove hundreds of miles to St. Louis to "discuss" the assaults with investigators? If he really didn't suspect he might be arrested, then, assaults aside, we feel sorry for the students who "learned" in Ingerson's classes for the better part of four decades.

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