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Montgomery County teacher convicted of sexually abusing students for 15 years will get a new trial

The conviction of John Anthony Vigna, a former Montgomery County teacher, was vacated in July.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. — A former Montgomery County elementary school teacher convicted of sexually abusing students over a period of 15 years has been released after his conviction was vacated. 

John Anthony Vigna was convicted in 2017 on charges of sexually abusing female students between August 2001 and February 2016 when he was placed on paid administrative leave. He had been teaching at Cloverly Elementary School since October 1991, and taught third, fourth and fifth graders over the course of his time at the school. 

Five students reported that they had been touched inappropriately while sitting in his lap. 

According to Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy, Vigna had been reprimanded twice for his behavior in 2008. He said the school system then conducted two separate interventions with him in 2013 and 2015.

Vigna turned himself into authorities, and was ultimately convicted of four counts of sex abuse of a minor and five counts of third degree sex offense. A jury sentenced Vigna to 48 years in prison.

"I am solely disappointed in the judicial system," Vigna's sister, Patti Assia, said on the day of his sentencing in August 2017. "On this day, this wrong must be righted. We will remain 'Vigna Strong.'" 

In July 2023, the now 58-year-old man's conviction was vacated and he was released on bond pending a new trial. 

According to Montgomery County Police, new victims gave come forward since Vigna's initial conviction. Detectives said they believe more victims could still be out there. They are asking anyone with information about the case to contact the Special Victims Investigation Division of MCPD at 240-773-5050. Tips can also be reported online at www.crimessolversmcmd.org

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