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Caroline boarding school director charged with child endangerment

BY PORTSIA SMITH / THE FREE LANCE–STAR

A former program director at a Christian-themed boarding school in Caroline County is facing additional criminal charges.

Liam Brendan Galligan, 44, of Fredericksburg is charged with 13 counts of felony child endangerment.

Liam Galligan

Liam Galligan

Caroline Sheriff Tony Lippa said Galligan was arrested Tuesday night in connection with an incident in November 2013 in which 13 male students at Abundant Life Academy near Sparta were “placed into a dangerous situation as a form of punishment,” according to a police report.

The students were forced to do military-style drills, such as barrel rolls in a swamp in 35-degree temperatures and then made to wash off in a lake, the report said. Many of the students ended up getting sick as a result, it said.

Galligan is one of four former Abundant life employees accused in another incident involving a student on Feb. 14.

Galligan, Jovany Rivera, 21, Timothy Jordan, 26, and 49-year-old William Honea are each charged with assault and battery and assault by mob in that case. The charges are misdemeanors.

They are accused of committing a continuous assault on a student at Abundant Life, the police report said.

An Aug. 6 trial in Caroline Circuit Court has been set for the four defendants.

In a separate case, a fifth Abundant Life staff member was charged in Caroline last month with an assault that is believed to have occurred in June.

Nathaniel Daniel, who has since been removed as a program director at the school, is charged with sexual battery in Caroline Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. A tip to police led to that charge. No other details have been released in that case, but a court date should be set soon, Lippa said.

Abundant Life Academy is a therapeutic boarding school for troubled teens. The school’s mission is to “equip students and families to live a life of love, acceptance and forgiveness through modeling and training of biblical principles, bridging the gap between parents and children,” according to its application when it filed to set up shop in the county.

It is in the location of the former Easter Seals and Remuda Ranch building off Passing Road near Sparta.

The Caroline County Board of Supervisors approved the school last July.

Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419

psmith@fredericksburg.com

 

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