The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Leader at youth program charged with molestation
The co-leader of a Stafford County-based performing arts company that features children has been accused of molesting two of them.
Phillip Wayne Lanier, 46, of Stafford, is charged with two counts of indecent liberties with a minor while in a supervisory role.
Lanier helps operate Frick & Frack Music, a faith-based organization that presents performances locally and elsewhere featuring dancing, singing and drama.
Stafford Sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy said an investigation began Tuesday when Deputy Robert Firkin received information from a family that their now 18-year-old daughter had been molested by Lanier over the past three years.
According to an affidavit for a search warrant filed in Stafford Circuit Court, the girl told Detective Tim Covington that Lanier began fondling her breasts when she was 15 and continued until she left the program after turning 18.
The teen reported that it happened several times a week. She said she knew it was wrong but she felt like no one would believe her if she told anyone.
During the investigation, the affidavit states, Covington came across another girl in the program who said Lanier fondled her as well.
Those incidents also occurred regularly over the past three years when the girl was ages 12 to 15.
Both girls said Lanier regularly asked to see their bras. The older girl said he bought a bra for her to wear, while the younger one said she sent him a picture of her wearing a black bra at his request.
The search warrant allowed police to search Lanier’s home on Joshua Road for pictures or other evidence that might identify other potential victims.
Lanier is being held without bond in the Rappahannock Regional Jail.
Keith Epps: 540/374-5404