A former Fairfax County principal has been charged with sexually molesting a 9-year-old boy during a church group camping trip, Virginia State Police said.
Thomas H. Clement, 62, of Clifton, allegedly assaulted the boy during an overnight outing at Fairfax County’s Burke Lake Park in October 2009, police said. The trip was organized through Centerpointe Church in Fair Oaks, the pastor said.
(Courtesy of Virginia State Police) - Thomas Clement.
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Police identified the victim as Demetrius Eccles, 31, of Northwest.
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Clement is a former teacher and principal at Bull Run Elementary School in Centreville, Fairfax County school officials said. He worked for the district from 1978 until his retirement in 2006, working at a total of six schools.
Centerpointe Pastor Keith Edwards said Clement’s arrest came as a shock. He declined to say whether Clement had been on previous camping trips or held a formal position with the church, but he said Clement was no longer part of the congregation.
“Thom and his family have been part of our church for awhile,” Edwards said. “But he no longer attends.”
State police began investigating the case after Special Agent J.B. Root received a complaint in February. Police said the investigation is ongoing and are asking anyone with information related to the incident to come forward.
“At this stage, we don’t have any other evidence of other victims, but the potential is always there,” said Corinne Geller, a police spokeswoman.
Clement is being held without bond on two counts of aggravated sexual battery of a minor. A call to his house was not returned and no lawyer was listed in online court records.
Fairfax County school officials said that before moving to Bull Run Elementary in 1999, Clement worked at Canterbury Woods, London Towne, Fairview, White Oaks and Union Mill elementary schools.
T. Rees Shapiro contributed to this report.