Social Worker Arrested

Social Worker Arrested

Robert Rother, 51, a Vienna resident and social worker with Fairfax County Public Schools, was arrested Tuesday, Jan. 17 on charges of taking custodial indecent liberties with a 13-year-old Fairfax boy, according to Fairfax County Police reports. The arrest followed a month-long investigation, which is still ongoing.

According to court records, the offense took place some time in October or November.

Fairfax County Public Schools spokesman Paul Regnier said Rother was working with Thoreau Middle School in Vienna, Terraset Elementary in Reston and Carson Middle School in Herndon.

"He has been placed on unpaid administrative leave, and we are investigating," said Regnier. He said there was "no indication whatsoever" that Rother had been a problem at those schools.

About a month and a half ago, police received a referral from a county agency regarding Rother, which led to a criminal investigation, said Fairfax County Police Public Information Officer Bud Walker. He withheld the name of the agency in order to protect the victim's identity.

Walker said the investigation is ongoing in the interest of both building the current case and the possibility of discovering other victims. "It's certainly possible that there are more victims, and we want to investigate all possibilities," he said. "If anyone out there has information, we'd love to hear from them." Anyone with additional information is asked to call Fairfax County Police at 703-246-7800.

The charge, which is a class 6 felony, indicates the perpetrator had some type of control or responsibility over the victim and took advantage of that power, said Walker.

If convicted, Rother could face one to five years in jail and a fine up to $2,500.

Rother was arraigned on Wednesday, Jan. 18, the day after his arrest. He left jail on a $15,000 bond the same day, according to 2nd Lt. Tony Shobe at the Fairfax County Sheriff's Office.

Rother will return to court Feb. 24.

— Mike DiCicco & Jason Hartke