ROCKVILLE — A former Montgomery County Public Schools teacher was found guilty Friday of sexual abuse of students.
After nine hours of deliberation Friday night, a jury found John Vigna, 50, of Silver Spring, guilty of four counts of sex abuse of a minor and five counts of third-degree sex offense, according to Ramon Korionoff, spokesperson for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office.
John McCarthy, state’s attorney for Montgomery County said Vigna was arrested in June of 2016 after five Cloverly students, both current and former, reported that they had been touched inappropriately while sitting in Vigna’s lap during the school day. Victims came forward after taking a mandated body safety class which helped them understand inappropriate contact.
“Body safety classes instituted by MCPS helped expose this child sex offender,” said McCarthy. “We commend the jury for working hard through a Friday night to render this verdict. It holds John Vigna accountable.”
McCarthy said Vigna, who had been a teacher at Cloverly Elementary School for 20 years, taught third, fourth, and fifth grade. The children who were his victims all hailed from those grades. Vigna had been counseled on a number of occasions, beginning back in 2008, to halt the practice of having physical contact with students. That counseling reoccurred in 2013 and 2015. The most recent event, which actually gave rise to the charges in this case, occurred in February of 2016.
McCarthy said Vigna will be brought before Judge David Boynton for sentencing on August 4, where he could face 25 years in prison for each count of sex abuse of a minor and 10 years for each third-degree sex offense.
“Unfortunately we live in a world where people sometimes will try to take advantage of children,” McCarthy said, “And we have to be in a position, so that it gets reported to appropriate authorities to be investigated, and we also have to make sure that children are educated enough to know that if they are a victim, sometimes actually recognize that they were a victim.”