False molestation charges continue to haunt Fairfax, VA teacher

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 16, 2011 3:01 PM GMT
    This is disturbing. While I fully sympathize with those who are molested, the full force of the law should be applied to those who make and in this case abet false accusations.


    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.
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    May 16, 2011 3:03 PM GMT
    Oh no! I live here!

    How frustrating: guilty until proven innocent, but no one's likely to believe your innocence even after a jury has determined so.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 20978

    May 16, 2011 5:55 PM GMT
    I actually know someone who was a victim of a teenager falsely accusing her of molestation, where the teenager later admitted he made the whole thing up because the teacher gave him a low grade on a term paper. It was a 2 year nightmare for her that originally ended in her being fired, arrested, and tried and almost convicted for a crime she didn't commit all because a teenager was angry. While I have great sympathy for anyone molested by teachers, clergy, or whoever, I wonder how often this happens where young people falsely accuse an adult, not realizing the seriousness of what they are doing, or the repercussions to the innocently accused life.