Jury Acquits Va. Gym Teacher Accused of Molestation

May 28, 2010

A Fairfax County jury has acquitted a popular gym teacher who had been charged with molesting a 12-year-old girl at his elementary school.

The jury needed less than an hour to deliberate Thursday before acquitting 43-year-old Sean Lanigan on all charges.

Lanigan had been suspended without pay from Centre Ridge Elementary School in Centreville following the accusations. The 12-year-old girl testified that Lanigan carried her into an equipment room and placed his hand on her breast and buttocks.

On cross-examination, though, the girl admitted that she had a grudge against Lanigan because he had threatened to discipline her for bullying.

School officials could not say whether Lanigan would return to his old job at Centre Ridge.

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