Fairfax teacher still suffering from false molestation allegations. Police officer admits to lying…
Posted by iusbvision on May 16, 2011
You can read the story HERE at the Washington Post:
Sean Lanigan’s nightmare began in January 2010, when the principal at Centre Ridge Elementary School pulled him out of the physical education class he was teaching and quietly walked him into an interrogation with two Fairfax County police detectives.
He had no warning that a 12-year-old girl at the Centreville school had accused him of groping and molesting her in the gym.
The girl, angry at Lanigan about something else entirely, had made the whole thing up. But her accusations launched a soul-sapping rollercoaster ride that still hasn’t ended.
“Emotionally, a part of me has died inside,” Lanigan said in a recent interview. “I’m physically and mentally exhausted all the time, how the whole process has been dragged out to this date. It certainly has affected the quality of life for me and my family at home.”
Lanigan remains in limbo, nearly a year after a jury’s acquittal. The Fairfax School District transferred him from Centre Ridge in a move that ultimately forced his wife to quit her job. School officials are now transferring him again. And the district has refused to pay his $125,000 in legal fees, even though Virginia law allows reimbursement for employees who are cleared of wrongdoing on the job.
A jury found him not guilty after just 47 minutes of deliberation — virtually unheard of in a child sex abuse case. Jurors were outraged by the lack of evidence, with one weeping in sympathy during closing arguments.~snip
Police declined to allow Nicole Christian, the lead detective on the case, to be interviewed for this article. Several months after Lanigan was acquitted, Fairfax prosecutors dismissed another of Christian’s child abuse cases in the middle of trial, a rarity, when the detective acknowledged that she had “misstated” some key facts in her sworn testimony.
This kind of nonsense happens just too often. Be sure to go to the Washington Post’s web site to read the entire piece and be sure to watch the video. It is not every day that I get to commend the Post on a solid piece of journalism, I just wish it would become a trend.