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Dirty Secrets case file: Kenneth Long

Monday, November 01, 1999

By Steve Twedt, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

In August 1995, the Alexandria, Va., School District began requiring criminal background checks for all new teachers.

It was five months too late.

  Kenneth Long

The previous spring, school officials had hired Kenneth K. Long, 30, as a substitute teacher. Because they did not check to see if Long had a criminal past, they did not know that Long's arrest record in Florida went back to 1989 when he was arrested for offering one of his 14-year-old students money for sex.

Two years after that, King pleaded no contest to soliciting a child for sex, for which he served three years' probation. Then he headed north.

King worked in Alexandria for more than three years, then applied to Washington D.C. schools, where that district's background check did uncover King's past. Before they could act on it, though, the FBI arrested King for transporting students across state lines to his Washington apartment for sex.

According to the FBI, this went on for nearly two years before one of his victims reported him to the Alexandria police. Long was arrested April 30, and his criminal trial began this month in Washington.

Meanwhile, the Alexandria school district, which serves 11,000 students, is considering a proposal to conduct criminal background checks on all current employees as well as new hires.

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