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BREAKING: Falls Church tennis instructor arrested for alleged sexual abuse of George Mason student

(Updated at 10:05 a.m.) A tennis instructor employed at George Mason High School in Falls Church has been arrested for allegedly having illegal sexual contact with a student.

The Fairfax County Police Department announced this morning (Tuesday) that 29-year-old Rafael “Rally” Diokno faces three charges of taking indecent liberties with a child by a custodian, a Class 6 felony that carries potential sentences of up to five years in prison or a 12-month jail term with a fine of up to $2,500.

Here is more on the investigation from the police report:

Our detectives began their investigation on June 16, after it was learned that Rafael “Rally” Diokno, of Falls Church, was having unlawful sexual contact with a student. Diokno was a seasonal contract employee with the Falls Church City Public Schools. Detectives determined the unlawful conduct began in May of this year and the acts occurred at different locations within the confines of Fairfax County. Yesterday, detectives from our Major Crimes Bureau Child Abuse Squad arrested Diokno, and he is currently being held at the County’s Adult Detention Center without bond.

Falls Church City Public Schools says that it first hired Diokno as a seasonal tennis coach in February 2016. He was terminated from the position on June 4.

FCCPS said in a statement that it is committed to supporting the student, while remaining aware of the possibility that additional victims may come forward:

FCCPS is committed to supporting the student and family involved and all of its students and staff members. At the same time, we want to ensure and respect the privacy of those involved. As the police and CPS investigation continues, we must be alert to the possibility of additional potential victims. It is crucial that individuals feel comfortable and supported in coming forward if they have additional information or concerns.

According to FCCPS, school officials contacted the City of Falls Church Police Department and Child Protective Services on June 3 “immediately after receiving an allegation of potentially inappropriate conduct by a coach toward a student athlete.”

“As a result, the coach was immediately relieved of his coaching duties,” FCCPS said. “This action enabled FCCPS to ensure the safety of its students while completing its investigation…The former coach no longer had access to the school or its students at the time of and leading up to the arrest.”

Since it is an ongoing criminal investigation, FCCPS says it will not comment further on the specifics of the case or on personnel matters beyond noting that, while Diokno was not a member of its instructional staff, the school system followed its standard procedures when hiring him, including fingerprinting and background checks.

“Falls Church City Public Schools has been fully cooperating with the Police and CPS during the investigation before the arrest and will continue to do so as their investigations continue,” FCCPS said.

The FCPD is asking anyone with information about the case or who may have had inappropriate contact with Diokno to contact its detectives at 703-246-7800, option 3, or by submitting an anonymous tip through Crime Solvers.

“Victim specialists from our Major Crimes Bureau’s Victim Services Division have been assigned to ensure that the victim is receiving appropriate resources and assistance,” the FCPD said.

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