Child Sex Cases to Grand Jury

Child Sex Cases to Grand Jury

August 1, 2002

The cases against two Centreville residents accused of sex crimes against children have been sent to the grand jury. One involves a Centreville woman who taught and coached in Reston schools, and the other involves a Centreville man and a young acquaintance of his.

The woman is Vanessa Baker, 26, who taught two years in the Fairfax County school system. She lives at 6103 Montjoy Court in the Sunset Ridge community.

Before her arrest last month, she was in her second year of teaching physical education at Langston Hughes Middle School. In addition, for the past year, she was the freshman girls basketball coach at South Lakes High.

However, following a police investigation — triggered by information received from a third party — on June 12, police arrested Baker. She is charged with carnal knowledge and custodial indecent liberties and has been suspended without pay from her jobs with the school system. If convicted, she could be sentenced to as much as 15 years in prison.

According to police, Baker allegedly had a relationship with an acquaintance under age 18. They say a "series of incidents" reportedly occurred "in various locations in Fairfax County" during the past year.

Baker is currently free on $10,000 bond. She appeared Friday in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, and the judge certified both charges against her to the next grand jury for possible indictment.

The Centreville man — Bruce Eugene Landrum, 42, of 5561 Rockpointe Drive — was also in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court on Friday. His charges, too, were sent to the grand jury. If convicted, he could receive as much as life in prison.

Police arrested him June 10, charging him with rape and aggravated sexual battery. Authorities believe that, on many occasions, several years ago in his home, he sexually assaulted a girl who was then 12 years old. They say he and the girl were acquainted.

Police said the alleged victim recently came to them and lodged a formal complaint against Landrum. After an investigation, police arrested him at the Criminal Investigations Bureau.

He was released from jail, June 12, on $20,000 bond. Rape is punishable by five years to life in prison, and aggravated sexual battery carries a penalty of one to 20 years behind bars.