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"I don't like this book because it don't got know pictures" Chief Rhorerer

“It’s becoming a disturbingly familiar scene in America - mentally unstable cops”

“It’s becoming a disturbingly familiar scene in America - mentally unstable cops”
“It’s becoming a disturbingly familiar scene in America - mentally unstable cops”

The Fairfax County Police and the Destruction of Sean Lanigan




“A healthy democracy requires a decent society; it requires that we are honorable, generous, tolerant and respectful.” Charles W. Pickering


“His heart was really with the kids”


     The Fairfax County Police had done it before. In 1987 they framed William J. Kelly Jr. They claimed Kelly had sexually abused his own children. The prosecutor dropped all charges against him, remarkable in Fairfax County where the Prosecutor’s office is understood to be under the whim and command of the police chief.

      Kelly sued the Fairfax County Police for "coercing" his children into making statements that he sexually abused them”. It was fair fight so the cops settled for $55,000. The cops in Fairfax County don’t like a fair fight. They don’t get the concept.

   They did it again in 2012 in the Sean Lanigan case, which is now a study of a police department out of control and of a witch hunt that has ruined an innocent man’s life “without a thought, without apology”.

     Fairfax County, Virginia, is a sprawling Washington, D.C., bedroom community with a population of just over one million residents making it the most populous jurisdiction in the state.  Its citizens are, largely, employed by the federal government or make their living by servicing the federal government.  It’s a wealthy place and has the second highest median household income in the US.

   Sean Lanigan was a productive part of the well-funded system in Fairfax County Virginia.  A native of the area he had earned a business degree from George Mason University in the nearby town Fairfax.

    After graduation, he bounced around for a while but eventually landed a teaching post at Stone Middle School in Centreville, Virginia and then was moved to the Centre Ridge Elementary school in 1998 where Lanigan, the father of three, became a popular physical education teacher and soccer coach.

 “His heart” said a friend “was really with the kids”


I’m going to make him pay.”

“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”  Voltaire

  In December 2009, Lanigan was head of the Centre Ridge safety patrols. He received a phone call from a parent, complaining that a 12-year-old girl on patrol on a school bus was abusive to other children. Lanigan knew the girl, pulled aside and spoke to her about the verbal bullying and warned the girl that she would lose the privilege of being on patrol if she didn’t knock it off.  Another teacher heard this exchange and told the girl she could also be removed as a news reader on Centre Ridge’s morning TV news show.

   “Mr. Lanigan’s a jerk,” the girl told her friends after the reprimand “I’m going to make him pay.”

   And she did too.

   After a second conversation with Lanigan about losing her patrol position for acting like a lying thug….this kid is destined to become a Fairfax County cop …. The girl and one of her friends began telling a story that Lanigan had picked up the accuser the day before, during “PE Pals,” in which students help clean up the gym and then are allowed to play there.

   The girl reported that Lanigan carried her over his shoulders into the main equipment room in the gym, briefly touching her breast and buttocks.  Once in the equipment room, the girls lied,  he threw the girl  on a stack of blue tumbling mats, began massaging her shoulders, then laid on top of her and told her he would “treat her like a queen,” while the other girl stood in the doorway and watched. The girl said that she tried to get up, but that Lanigan pushed her down and asked where she was going. She said she had patrol duty, and Lanigan then allowed her to leave.

   That was the story. Told by a 6th grader with behavioral issues and for over a year, adults in responsible positions, positions of authority, believed every word of it.

   The girl went home and told her parents that she had been molested by Lanigan, telling them a slightly different story  "he, like, just grabbed me" by the hips and tossed her over his shoulder.  As Lanigan lifted her up, the girl said, he touched her breast for "a few seconds." Then he took her to an equipment room and laid her down, touching her buttock as he did, the girl lied.

   Why did she do it?

   A fellow student later testified that the girl told her that "she was trying to get him fired because she didn't like him." Further, she said, the girl admitted to her that she lied about the incident with Lanigan to her parents and teachers and said, "Don't tell anyone."


‘You really have no idea why you’re here, do you?’ ”

 “I know how to do my job. Don’t tell me how to do my job.’ ” Fairfax County Police Investigator Nicole Christian


    The girl “changed her story three different times.   There was one story for her parents, one for the school administrators and one for the police…and, as remarkable as it is…. no one noticed.  Worse yet, every time she told the story, a new, embellished, version arrived.  In other words, the girl was not only a lair she was an expert manipulator and as a member of Lanigan’s jury later pointed out, probably mentally disturbed.  

    The girl’s parents contacted James Baldwin, Centre Ridge’s seemingly hyper principal, the next day and Baldwin, instead asking his staff member what happened, promptly called police. He would not speak to Lanigan about the charge until the cops arrived nor did he inform Lanigan that he had phoned the police.

     The case was assigned to Fairfax County cop Nicole Christian.

    A lot of what happens in the world of child molestation, at least from the cop’s side of things, is all about money.  The Fairfax County Police, with a budget in the hundreds of millions of dollars, is in the habit of “borrowing” funds from one office within the department to finance another and there is a vast fortune to be had  from the child abuse industry and all you have to do to get a piece of it is to arrest someone.

    This “child abuse as a profit center” was started inadvertently by federal legislation which funds Police departments based on the number of child abuse charges it brings every year.  The result of “arrest for profit” is that the Fairfax County police “benefit financially by inflicting undeserved misery on people like Lanigan.”

    As Columbia University professor Dr. Richard Gardner said there is a network of school employees, mental health, law enforcement officials that encourages child abuse allegations "whether they're reasonable or not." And by all indications that is what happened in Fairfax County Virginia.

    Nicole Christian’s judgment in the Lanigan is still a topic of discussion in the county and there is a litany of disturbing questions about the case that Nicole Christian should answer but has, to date, refused to answer.

   It is important to understand that the Lanigan case was not her first rodeo. According to the Washington Post, Fairfax County prosecutors dismissed one of Christian’s child-abuse cases in the middle of a trial because she acknowledged “misstating the facts” in her sworn testimony. Christian was not indicted or prosecuted for perjury, at the least, or fired from the Police force, or reassigned because in her line of work   “Misstating the facts” could ruin a person forever. For all we know she was never even reprimanded.

   One large, glaring question is, if Nicole Christian did investigate the facts behind the case, why did she move the case forward?  She was, after all, fully versed in the terrain of child molestation, enough so that she had run a PowerPoint presentation on the Internet about “Child Abuse Awareness” that named the physical and behavioral indicators that a sexually assaulted child would have.

     Yet the girl who lied about Lanigan did not show even one indicator listed by Christian in the presentation.  Not one. And no one seemed to notice. It was as if the girl knew that no matter what she said, she would be believed by the people she needed to believe her. The people who needed to believe her.  Oddly enough, Nicole Christian’s power point ends with the sentence “Believe a child who tells you about a sexual assault” but the common sense caveat to that broad based statement should have been “But bear in mind the child may be lying and innocent people could be harmed as a result” 

   Remarkably, initially Nicole Christian did not meet with the accuser or even her parents. Instead, after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, she watched from another room as Krista Davidson, a social worker from Fairfax child protective services, interviewed the girl who was accusing Lanigan of molesting her. Davidson, along with a school district investigator had interviewed the girl’s parents before the girl was interviewed.

    Based the series of lies the girl told, all of the adults involved believed what she said about being molested by Lanigan. Apparently not a single adult involved in this train wreck was wise enough not to be outsmarted by a 6th grader…or perhaps it’s not that complicated, maybe none of them wanted the story not to be true.

   And now Sean Lanigan’s life as he knew it, was about to end and with those stakes on the table…a man’s life….Nicole Christian, as the lead detective  should have done a firsthand interview of the accuser and her parents, especially in light of the fact that Nicole Christian interviewed just about everyone else in the case.

    Christian, the social worker Davidson and Steve Kerr, the school systems investigator, also spoke to the accuser’s friend, who corroborated her story because she had agreed to lie about Lanigan eight days before.

    The adults also spoke to two boys who also were in the gym who said they saw nothing.  Then they spoke to two other friends of the accuser who reported what the accuser told them, but they too, had seen nothing happen. It is difficult to believe that not one of these four children, all of whom knew the accuser, didn’t mention that the girl hated Lanigan.  In fact, the investigative report into the alleged incident did not mention the girl’s widely known dislike for Lanigan at all although that fact was brought out at the trial four times by different witness including the girl herself.

     Nicole Christian did look at the room, a closet actually,  where the alleged incident was supposed to have occurred, the small room where Lanigan tossed the girl mat.  Even Christian’s looking over the room his seems like Police Work 101, it’s no small fact since it is very clear that the room could not fit the tumbling mats that the girl lied about placing there. It was a key piece of evidence that Christian the cop  ignored. The cops accompanied the lying girl to the equipment room and reported not seeing any mats  and a dozen witnesses told the cops that the mats were never stored there and wouldn’t fit in the room.

   Lanigan had no warning that the girl had accused him of groping her. For all he knew the girl liked him so it came as a surprise when he was pulled out of the physical education class he was teaching and brought into an interrogation with  Nicole Christian and another investigator named Rich Mullins.

   Christian and Mullins “were very nice for the first 25 minutes,” Lanigan said. “A lot of small talk, get-to-know-you-type questions. About 25 minutes in, Detective Christian said, ‘You really have no idea why you’re here, do you?’ ”

   When asked about picking up the girl and carrying her, Lanigan said he had no clear memory of whether he had picked her up…eight days had passed by then….. but said he might have. “I play just like I do with my own children,” he later told the jury. “Kids ask me to pick ’em up, flip ’em over.”

   The cops asked “Did you carry the girl into the equipment room? Did you fondle her?

   “No.” Lanigan answered, he did not.

   “They were throwing a lot of scenarios at me,” Lanigan said. “I felt like they were trying to trick me into a confession. They just didn’t take my word and call it a day.”

   Lanigan was released from the questioning without being arrested but was badly shaken and very upset. Then school administration demanded Lanigan’s keys and school badge. There is no evidence that Baldwin ever considered the fact that the girl was lying and that a member of his staff was telling the truth.  Instead, Lanigan was suspended with pay, for the time being, but soon his pay would be suspended as well and before his living nightmare was over, Lanigan’s finances would be ruined.

    Baldwin then issued Lanigan a written reprimand which Lanigan challenged with a grievance and district administrator Robert Callahan ordered rescinded and removed from Lanigan’s files.

    “I drove off school property and just sat in my car,” Lanigan said, “stunned that this could have happened to me.”    


“I realized I was in more or less a mental ward”

 Justice is never given; it is exacted and the struggle must be continuous for freedom is never a final fact, but a continuing evolving process to higher and higher levels of human, social, economic, political and religious relationship.”  A. Philip Randolph


   Despite the mountain of evidence proving the girl to be a liar, the police managed to get felony charges of abduction and aggravated sexual battery against Lanigan who turned himself in at the Fairfax jail that same afternoon. He would be there for four days, accused of molesting a child and facing charges that if convicted, carried a 40 year sentence in prison.

   Lanigan had to tell his children he was going to be arrested.   “We try to teach them to do the right thing, and I had to tell them that Daddy was going to jail and my name was going to be on the news. It was heartbreaking.”

   To make sure Lanigan’s kids knew that their father would be arrested, in fact to make sure Lanigan was humiliated in front of the whole of DC, the Fairfax County Police issued a press release which included Lanigan’s booking photo and home address.

   The school district, for no apparent reason,  sent home a letter to parents  about Lanigan’s arrest as well. The local media, armed with disinformation from the Fairfax County Police, descended on the Lanigan household and roamed his neighborhood to interview his neighbors.  

   Considering the charges against him, sexual battery of a child, jail for Lanigan could be, under the wrong circumstances,  a very dangerous place. Maybe the inmates would leave him alone or maybe they would beat him up for a couple of days, or maybe they would kill him. It happens, it especially to inmate with “Short eyes”, kiddie molesters.

   The cops figured that might happen too, so they tossed him into a holding cell in the protective custody ward where the lights were never off and the yelling never ends.

 “I just tried to avoid eye contact,” he said later. “I realized I was in more or less a mental ward. “It was scary. I was just wide-eyed. I’m an accused child molester. I’m thinking, ‘How am I going to last in here?’ 

    It was, he recalled,  “the worst 4 days of my life. Being taken from my children and wife with no communication on their well-being is every father's nightmare. I was not strip-searched. I was kept in isolation and fed baloney sandwiches for four days. I really had no interaction with guards except for showing me to or from the courtroom. I tried to keep a very low profile and not break any of the facility rules. I did not interact at all with any other inmates.”

    After his release Lanigan was separated from the comfortable, productive world he had known for so long. Now, with nothing but time on his hands he was left to consider the very real possibility of serving 40 years in a prison on the charges pending against him. In the meantime the police badgered him without end, trying to get him to admit to the crimes that they knew the girl had made up.

    From all of the facts, it doesn’t appear that the police or prosecutors gave a passing thought or a flying damn to the idea that the girl, their star witness, was a liar. But she was. She said she was in a Facebook conversation with a friend shortly before the preliminary hearing, she wrote:  “it wuz a joke tho lyk always he picks up gurls as a joke nd I feel rlly bad. Nd I swear I dident wnt to go this far I told cuz some 1 told me too nd I thought he wud just get a warning but no”

(It was a joke, though like always he picks up girls as a joke. I feel really bad. No I swear I didn't want to go this far. (And at the end) I thought he would just get a warning, but no.")

     But Nicole Christian wasn’t going to back track on her absolute conviction that Lanigan was guilty and her means to prove that were, at times, unscrupulous.  Becky Doebler daughter was another sixth grader who attended Centre Ridge and was a friend of Lanigan's accuser and later a key witness in his court case.

    Doebler said that shortly after the girl accused Lanigan of molesting her, Centre Ridge Elementary School Principal James Baldwin invited Nicole Christian into the school to interview Doebler’s daughter without Doebler’s knowledge and consent.  It was, of course,  a direct violation of a Fairfax County School System regulation that states that the questioning of students by police officers on school property requires reasonable efforts to secure permission from the student's parents before any questioning occurs but no reasonable efforts were made, according to the mother.

   Doebler said after she learned about her daughters unauthorized questioning by Nicole Christian that she contacted Baldwin and said she did not give permission for any subsequent interviewing of her daughter while in school.  Nicole Christian answered by questioning Doebler’s daughter in school three more times…...on school property.

   Doebler said that soon after her complaints to Baldwin about what she saw as the cop’s obnoxious behavior that the Fairfax County Department of Family Services began investigating her although she does not know who filed the complaint or why they filed it "They don't have to tell you who filed the complaint," she said. "I still don't know."

   Doebler wasn’t going to ask Nicole Christian if she was the one who filed the complaint, it was too dangerous. Instead, Doebler moved out-of-state.

   When school staff and parents tried, again and again to tell Christian a different version of events, she threatened them with prosecution for obstruction of justice, the staff members and parents said.  And she meant it too.  School district investigator Kerr’s questionable investigative report, written after Lanigan’s acquittal, confirmed those claims, noting that: “Because of the jury’s decision, the detective [Christian] advised that she will not pursue criminal charges against [staff member] or [staff member].”who had tried to tell her a different version of events.

    When a close friend of accuser tried to recant her story, Nicole Christian told her not to and explained to the girl’s family, "If she changes her story, they're going to wonder why she changed her story."

     Later, Christian tried to talk to the girl’s mother in a court hallway but that didn’t work and the girl recanted her story in court. A while later Fairfax County launched an investigation against the mother's boyfriend.  She and her daughter have since moved from the area so they too, did not question Nicole Christian about who filed the complaint against them.

Pushing Back

 “A prosecutor can lead a grand jury to can indict a ham sandwich” Dutch Schultz

     The cops were in trouble. They had fucked up big time and they knew it.  The media had figured out that Lanigan was being set up and the tide changed. Now the story was a national issue.    Support from the local community for Lanigan large, wide and deep.

     The cops were in trouble. They had fucked up big time and they knew it.  So they started to lie. At Lanigan’s arraignment, a Fairfax prosecutor, based on written reports from the field,  informed a judge that Lanigan “laid on top of her and thrust his pelvis into her.”

     But at Lanigan’s preliminary hearing, the accuser acknowledged that Lanigan did not physically lay on her, but was standing closely over her but even that accusation was not repeated by the cops or the prosecution at the trial probably because they were the only ones saying it was true.

  As the trial approached, Fairfax Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Katie Pavluchuk offered the school teacher a deal, plead guilty to misdemeanor assault and she would drop the whole annoying sex offense thing, there would be no jail time and everyone would go home happy, especially the cops. Lanigan refused.

    “I was really excited,” he said. “I wanted the truth to come out. I wanted my life back.”

  Such is the state of criminal justice in Fairfax County. The  Commonwealth’s Attorney was ready willing, and able to cut a deal with an accused child sexual predator to save her case and the county’s ass.

"There was no evidence"

"Justice has nothing to do with what goes on in a courtroom; Justice is what comes out of a courtroom". Clarence Darrow


After a preliminary hearing in which the accuser and her friend both recanted the claim that Lanigan had laid on top of her, a judge still sent the case to a grand jury for indictment. Lanigan’s attorneys met with Morrogh, the county prosecutor, and asked him to dismiss the case but Morrogh, who would have his own series of ethical difficulties later on, refused.  

    So the trial began.  To convict Lanigan of aggravated sexual battery of someone younger than 13, the jury would have had to find that the alleged groping was "committed with the intent to sexually molest, arouse or gratify any person, where the defendant intentionally touches the complaining witness's intimate parts or material clothing covering such intimate parts."

   To prove that didn’t happen, Lanigan’s lawyer got the girl to admit to a history of bullying younger children, her conflicts with Lanigan and her Facebook posting that “it was a joke.”

“Did you tell other kids you hated Mr. Lanigan?” Greenspun asked.

“Yes,” the girl replied.

“You hated him before this happened?”


  The lawyer asked if Lanigan lay on top of her, and she shook her head no.

“Did you ever tell anybody that he was lying on top of you?” Kay asked.

“No,” the accuser answered.

“You ever tell the police that?”

“Yes, but it was like, it was kind of.”

“Why did you tell them he was laying on you?” Kay asked.

“I said he was kind of laying on me.”

“But that didn’t happen, correct?”

“Yes.” she answered.

   The girl often sank in the witness chair, sometimes to the point that the jurors could not see her.  She testified for nearly two hours, much of it under cross-examination.  She said she was angry at Lanigan because he threatened to discipline her for bullying. She also said she was unhappy with him because he did not play her favorite music in gym class.

     And based on that….. Because he did not play her favorite music in gym class...…Fairfax County would doll out almost $400,000 in expenses and payments to cover the cost of Lanigan’s arrest and trial.

    The girl's friend, who had gone along with the lie at first, testified that she didn't see any inappropriate touching and that the accuser told her that "she was trying to get him fired because she didn't like him." and that the accuser admitted to her that she lied about the incident, and said, "Don't tell anyone."

   The jury listened and decided the prosecution had no case and no evidence and after reading their legal instructions, it took the seven women and five men about 10 minutes to come to their unanimous decision….not guilty.  Four of the jurors said they thought that Lanigan should never have been arrested in the first place.

   "There wasn't really an investigation," one juror said echoing Lanigan’s lawyers claim that the cops did not speak to other people in the school about the accuser or the circumstances she alleged.

   Nicole Christian had nothing to say to that.

  Lawyer and author Robert Franklin wrote “Judging from her conduct of the Sean Lanigan case, she is plainly unqualified to do that job and should be at least replaced and preferably fired. Although her fellow officers seem to respect her work, Jackman describes a woman who harbors some frankly false views about child abuse, intimidates witnesses, displays a disturbing willingness to ignore evidence pointing to innocence and possibly lies under oath.”

   Washington DC journalist and commentator Wes Vernon wrote in his column, “Previously, we suggested that disciplinary action should be considered for Detective Christian, including demotion or dismissal. We are now convinced that such a hearing should be confined to dismissal — whether she should be stripped of her badge. It appears she has badly abused her authority. Just one caveat: Madame Detective should be accorded more fairness than she was willing to grant Coach Lanigan (or others she viewed as getting in her way). Most understand the rule of the "presumption of innocence until convicted," even if those very words may not be in Detective Christian's vocabulary.”

    But Nicole Christian has not been demoted or dismissed for her handling of the Lanigan case. And nothing will happen and she knows it. And if any attempt were ever made to discipline her, the Fairfax County Police union would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend her.  



 “There is a difference between what is wrong and what is evil. Evil is committed when clarity is taken away from what is clearly wrong, allowing wrong to be seen as less wrong, excusable, right, or an obligatory commandment of the Lord God Almighty. Evil is bad sold as good, wrong sold as right, injustice sold as justice. Like the coat of a virus, a thin veil of right can disguise enormous wrong and confer an ability to infect others.”  John Hartung



After Lanigan was acquitted in 2010, he made a formal request to the Fairfax school district to reimburse his legal fees, as Virginia law clearly allows. As Lanigan pushed to have his legal fees reimbursed, and despite the acquittal, the school district began an internal reprimand process and presented Lanigan him with two pages of “guidelines and expectations.” written specifically for him.

   Bill Cummings, a longtime friend and supporter of Lanigan, said: “They are so fixated on him being guilty that they’re pushing to put the set of expectations in his file, so he could inadvertently trip on one of them and cause them to dismiss him. They can’t see that everyone knows him as an honest and decent man.”

  As a parting shot, school district investigator Stephen Kerr wrote a highly report “riddled with inaccuracies and incomplete information” a month after Lanigan’s acquittal. The report concluded that Lanigan, basically, that Lanigan seedy little man who was found not guilty by a jury.  

   The report was circulated to the brass in the Fairfax school system and when Lanigan asked that his legal fees be reimbursed, the bosses didn’t bother to reply. If he wanted his fees reimbursed he would have to fight for it.  But to their surprise, fight he did and eventually the school district offered less than half what Lanigan was seeking.

   As a further slap, three months after the trial the school system transferred Lanigan from o Centre Ridge to South Lakes High School in Reston, and given a part-time job, teaching five out of every 10 days, though he was paid a full-time salary. To insult to injury, it informed Lanigan that he was being “destaffed” from his new post at South Lakes High School, and would have to reapply for a job elsewhere in the district. It was about ego.

   The publicity that Lanigan was getting was infuriating the school district and they refused to settle the case out of court. Lanigan filed a breach of contract suit and a year later, the school system settled. As the Washington Post noted, Fairfax County paid almost twice that amount to try to keep the money out of Lanigan’s hands. It cost $141,030 for outside attorneys to defend and settle the suit, according to legal billings released by the school district.

    When the settlement made the news, the county government panicked and started to lie. It said that the school board offered full reimbursement to Lanigan in November 2011, and that Lanigan rejected that offer; he later agreed to essentially the same terms in June 2012.  But that wasn’t true.  The fact is, the November 2011 offer was 18 months after his acquittal, by which time he already had been compelled to hire a lawyer and incur more costs.

   In short, the incident left the Lanigan family in financial ruins.

   Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh declined to comment on the case. The Fairfax County School District declined to comment and the parents of the accuser declined to comment.

   It was now clear to the nation, if not the entire world, not to trust the Fairfax County Police because their unwritten but well understood policy  is to hold the people in contempt as law breakers regardless of what the evidence says, prosecute without question and threaten and lie when challenged.

   The cops, who had wasted no time in arresting Lanigan and then publicizing the arrest were once again the butt of a national joke, had a lot to say and all of it exonerated them from any wrong doing “There is a system of checks and balances” the cops said with their tail between their legs “between the police department, the commonwealth attorney and the magistrate. That system was followed, and it was determined that sufficient probable cause existed to proceed with prosecution.”  In other words they have no intentions of apologizing to Lanigan for what they did to him.  Instead, the Police covered up the case and refused to allow Nicole Christian to be questioned by the media.

   The Fairfax County Police have never made any attempts to improve their policy in false accusations since they railroaded Lanigan nor are they about to make any changes to their policy.

     Police Chief Rohrer…who was later promoted, used the cop’s publicity machine…in Fairfax County the police actually have a large, well-funded publicity officer….. to send out a statement defending the cops who charged Lanigan. Rohrer, who was later promoted despite the Lanigan case, said The Washington Post “unfairly criticized the detectives in the case” who “followed all appropriate investigative protocols.”

   When it was pointed out to Rohrer that g before the post article was published, the Fairfax police were given weeks to respond to the allegations that they had, essentially framed another innocent man and had not responded.  In Fairfax County, the police do not explain themselves largely because they don’t have too. 

   Remarkably, Rohrer then said that neither the accuser nor her friend ever recanted her allegations, and that Fairfax prosecutors never offered Lanigan a plea deal to a misdemeanor.  Lanigan’s defense attorney strongly disagreed.

   No one at the FCPS Administration or School Board the school board or was reprimanded or fired. The American Civil Liberties Union was nowhere to be found in the Lanigan case, perhaps because Lanigan was the wrong gender, the wrong religion and the wrong race, or, perhaps, giving the organization the benefit of the doubt, they didn’t help because they weren’t aware of the case.   The prosecutor who refused to dismiss the case even after the girl admitted she made the whole thing up was not fired or disciplined nor were there any criminal charges brought him.

   Instead, they, the cops and the prosecutor’s office, have made it known through their expansive and tax payer funded publicity machine, that they still believe he is guilty, that the jury misunderstood the charges and that Lanigan just got dumb lucky. They don’t believe it of course, they just refuse to be wrong.

   Generally, the public was outraged that Lanigan’s accuser was never named by the police. Their thinking was that if she was old enough to effectually ruin Lanigan’s life then she was old enough to be named, and, after all, the police had rushed to bring Lanigan’s name and photograph to the public. “Her identity” Lanigan said “should not be public. She's a 13-year-0ld troubled girl who I hope one day gets the help she needs.”

   The Post was probably correct in declining to publish the girls name because she was a minor. However there was a school of thought that said if the girl was shrewd enough to invent and carry through with such convoluted scheme, a scheme that would send an innocent man to prison, then perhaps she should have been named. Otherwise, nothing has happened to the girl. She has walked away, scot free, from the train wreck she created. To this day the police have ever explained why the girl hasn’t been arrested for filing a false felony report, lying to the cops and obstruction of justice. 

   Lanigan, who has returned to teaching, has chosen not to sue the girl’s parent for punitive damages nor has Fairfax County taken any action against the parents for costing the taxpayers just under a half a million dollars to prove a lie wasn’t true. But in the end the cops win. Lanigan is screwed for life.  Background checks on him and the internet will forever associate him with child molestation. He will spend the rest of his teaching career walking on egg shells around every student that crosses his path.

 “The hardest thing I'm going to overcome” Lanigan said “is all the media attention and the articles on the Internet. That's something that myself, my kids, even my grandkids, will have to live with. I'm very thankful that the media, now, is seeing both sides. They dragged me through the mud from the beginning, but it's nice to see that they are taking care of loose ends in the aftermath. “

“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.”