Children's choir ministry teacher accused of fondling teenage girls
STAFFORD, VA (WWBT) - A children's choir teacher is in jail tonight accused of fondling two teenage girls under his supervision.
Stafford County authorities said 46-year-old Phillip Lanier worked for a faith-based music ministry called Frick and Frack Music and was around children regularly.
Now he's behind bars charged with 2 felony counts of indecent liberties with a minor and authorities say there could be more victims.
"One of our deputies came in contact with a family who stated their daughter their teen daughter has just revealed to them that she had been sexually fondled by Mr. Lanier as well as the fact that he had also asked her to send pictures of her underwear to him," said Bill Kennedy of Stafford County Sheriff's Office.
During this investigation detectives said they found another teenage girl with a similar story.
"This is a serious situation and the possibility unfortunately he interacted with a number of children concerns us," said Kennedy.
Lanier's profile picture on the Frick and Frack Music's' website shows him smiling and his bio states: anyone who wants to work in his ministry must love kids the way Jesus did and be committed to showing kids that Jesus loves them.
Authorities said Frick and Frack Music performs throughout the area and said the incidents involving the 2 teenage girls occurred in March 2011 and did not end until Spring of 2013.
Neighboring business owners say they saw Lanier walk out in handcuffs but didn't know why, until now.
"It's very disturbing to know, I see the kids go in and out all the time and my heart goes out to all of them especially any of them that felt it was an awkward situation and they didn't feel comfortable," said Amanda Sale.
"I think when someone is put in a position of trust and position of trust with children especially they need to be held to a little bit higher standard," said Colby Jurgensen.
The Stafford County Sheriff's Office is asking anyone who may have had a similar contact with Phillip Lanier to come forward. You can call the sheriff's office at 540-658-4400.
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