Slandered Northern Va. youth coach Sean Lanigan to host fundraiser in Dec.
By Charles Boehm
It’s been more than two years since longtime Northern Virginia youth coach Sean Lanigan was absolved of the sexual assault charges filed against him by a disgruntled student in his sixth-grade physical education class at Centre Ridge Elementary School in Centreville, Va. His accuser’s deception was exposed as a complete fabrication in a Fairfax County court of law, a jury throwing out the case in less than an hour in May 2010.
Yet his family’s battle to piece together the final pieces of a broken life has continued. Already bearing the six-figure costs of his defense in court, Lanigan has since spent many months and thousands more dollars pursuing a full restitution of his legal bills from the Fairfax County Public Schools system per Virginia law.
While the Virginia Youth Soccer Association cleared him to return to club coaching almost immediately after the jury’s verdict, he says he remains nearly $60,000 in the red from battling with an uncooperative school district which transferred him from his original teaching position to another location and fought his efforts at reimbursement for months.
So on December 14, Lanigan and his family are inviting friends and loved ones to “a celebration of Sean’s innocence and new beginning” at Sully’s Restaurant in Chantilly, Va. (located at 14153 Lee Jackson Highway) to help further their return to normalcy.
“This promises to be a very lively and noisy event with a silent auction to raise funds to help make Sean and his family financially whole after the terrible challenges they’ve had to surmount over the past nearly three years,” states a promotional flyer for the gathering. “Come to Sully’s Restaurant to share the moment and show your support, while having a good time for a great cause!”
The event will feature a live band and will run from 5-9 p.m., with a happy set for 5-6 p.m.
Those who are unable to attend, but wish to make a donation to Lanigan’s legal defense fund, can do so here, via PayPal.