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Gar-Field girls’ basketball coach placed on leave

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A Gar-Field girls’ basketball player has accused her coach, Donald Gallitz, of misdemeanor assault and battery after an alleged incident during a game Jan. 4 at Forest Park.

In a citizen’s criminal complaint filed Jan. 13 in Prince William County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, the player, whose name is redacted from court documents because she is a minor, alleges that while Gallitz was criticizing her defense during a timeout “he grabbed my bottom jaw and shook my face for roughly about 15 seconds saying what I needed to do.”

The incident was first reported this week by InsideNova.com.

Gallitz, 38, a video media production teacher at Forest Park and a Prince William County Schools employee since 2003, coached in the Indians’ next game after the incident but has not coached since. The player who made the accusation is still on the team.

Gallitz was placed on administrative leave Jan. 17. According to a letter written by Gar-Field Principal William G. Bixby that was posted last week on the school Web site, Child Protective Services and county police looked into the allegations and “found no cause to pursue the matter further.”

The letter goes on to say that being placed on administrative leave “is a routine decision...[that] provides some separation for the good of all concerned, but it should not be seen as any kind of judgment.”

Gallitz was arraigned Jan. 19, and his trial is set for March 19. He declined to comment. His attorney, Carroll A. Weimer Jr., said the accusations “are not true. He looks forward to getting this put behind him.”

Gallitz, a former assistant for three years at Forest Park, is in his first season at Gar-Field.

Jessica Taylor, previously a Gar-Field assistant, is now serving as the Indians’ head coach.

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