In a hearing lasting less than 10 seconds, the charges against Centreville's David Baker were dropped, Monday afternoon, in court. It is now up to Fairfax County Public Schools whether to reinstate him as a P.E. teacher at Franklin Middle School.
Baker's story is one of a decent, law-abiding man who simply reached the end of his rope. In January, his wife Vanessa, 27 — with whom he has a 7-year-old daughter — pleaded guilty to engaging in consensual sodomy with a 15-year-old Reston girl.
Vanessa Baker taught physical education at Langston Hughes Middle School and coached freshman girls basketball at South Lakes. But after being confronted by police and arrested, she admitted to having sexual relations with the girl from Christmas break 2001 through June 7, 2002.
She was to be sentenced on April 11, but had only been allowed to remain free on bond until then, provided she have no further contact with the victim. (Centre View is withholding her name since she's a victim and a minor).
However, the girl — who's still enamored of Vanessa Baker — showed up, unannounced, at the Bakers' home on April 10, to have one last word with her former coach. And that's just when David Baker returned home and found the two of them talking.
Here was his wife — who'd been expressly warned by a Fairfax County Circuit Court judge to stay away from the victim — with the very teen-ager who'd played a significant role in the events that caused his wife's arrest, her firing from the school system and the breakup of their marriage.
Consumed with anger and frustration, David Baker lost it. Police said an argument ensued and Baker allegedly assaulted both his wife and the girl. They arrested him after the girl called them. Police charged David Baker with domestic assault and malicious wounding, and he was later released on bond.
The school system also placed him on unpaid administrative leave.
He's been a FCPS employee since Sept. 1, 2000 and taught P.E. just this year at Franklin. On April 25, Circuit Court Judge Arthur Vierreg Jr. sentenced Vanessa Baker to 10 months in jail and ordered her to register as a child sex offender upon her release.
Monday afternoon, it was David Baker's turn to appear in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court before Judge Michael Valentine. No sooner had those involved in his case filed into the courtroom than Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Katie Swart made a motion to drop all the charges against him. The judge agreed, and that was it.
Now that Baker's cleared that hurdle, the question remains whether he will be given back his job at Franklin Middle. Tuesday morning, school system spokesman Paul Regnier — while unable to discuss Baker's case specifically — said, "In any case where somebody's been arrested for something, we do our own investigation and we act on the basis of [our own findings]."