Festus, MO (KSDK) - A 47-year-old Festus man was charged Tuesday for allegedly raping an elementary school-age girl, the Festus Police Department said.
According to Festus Police Chief Timothy Lewis, the investigation began December 17 after a young girl told her parents about two incidents, said to have occurred over the summer, one of which was at Burgess' home.
Michael Burgess, a janitor in the Festus School District, was charged with one count of first-degree statutory rape. He has been suspended with pay.
Police said Burgess has known the victim and her family for many years.
"They had barbecues together. They had family outings together. The child was very familiar with him," said Chief Lewis.
The school district says there was a background check performed on Burgess when he joined the district six years ago, but there were no problems.
Superintendent Randy Sheriff says parents have been contacted, mostly via e-mail.
Lewis said the incident did not occur on school grounds, but investigators are asking parents to speak with their children and see if they might also have been victims.
Parents can call the Festus Police Department at 636-937-3646 to provide any additional information on the case.
Burgess remains in custody at the Festus Police Department pending further investigation.