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Fairfax teacher accused of molesting girl, 12

A physical education teacher at a Fairfax County elementary school has been
arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl, Fairfax police said Monday.

Police said the incident occurred Jan. 12 at Centre Ridge Elementary School, 14400 New Braddock Rd. in the Centreville area. The girl was part of a group of students who were helping clean the gym toward the end of the school day, officer Tawny Wright said.

Police said the gym teacher reportedly picked up the girl and touched her inappropriately, then carried her to a nearby room. When the girl tried to leave, the teacher allegedly pushed her down and lay on top of her, police said.

When the girl told the teacher she need to leave, the teacher released her, police said. She did not require medical attention.

The girl told her parents three days later, and police launched an investigation.

Sean Lanigan, 43, of Centreville was charged with abduction and sexual battery of a juvenile under 13, police said. He turned himself in Friday.

Lanigan also is the longtime soccer coach at Herndon High School, where he was named The Washington Post All-Met coach of the year in 1996.

Lanigan has been placed on unpaid leave from the school system, Fairfax schools spokesman Paul Regnier said. Lanigan has been a full-time teacher in Fairfax since 1997, and taught at Centre Ridge since 1998, Regnier said.

-- Tom Jackman

By Tom Jackman  |  February 1, 2010; 3:43 PM ET
Categories:  Fairfax , Sex Crimes , Tom Jackman  
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