Kids’ choir leader arrested amid accusations

Posted at 3:23 PM, Oct 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-04 23:53:38-04

ChoirArrestSTAFFORD, Va. (WTVR) – The composer and arranger behind the faith-based Frick & Frack musical group is in jail charged with two counts of indecent liberties with a minor while in a supervisory role. An 18-year-old girl accused Phillip Wayne Lanier, 46, of Stafford, of sexually fondling her over the last two years.

“The teen was part of a [musical] group that Phillip Lanier co-leads,” Stafford County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Bill Kennedy wrote in a media advisory. “The faith-based group [Frick & Frack] does performances in the area and has done summer tours as well.”

The mother of Lanier’s business partner does not believe the accusations. Peggy Hart called the accuser a disgruntled teen, upset with Lanier’s decisions about the group’s fall tour.

During the course of their investigation into the accuser’s claims, deputies determined Lanier sexually fondled another child as well. In both cases, investigators said Lanier asked the girls to send him pictures of them in their underwear.

According to the group's website, Frick & Frack writes "original Christian children's choir music and musicals, create original scripts for children's choir and drama programs, and offer a range of resources to help leaders build a children's choir ministry geared toward today's kids."

"I began building my first children's choir ministry over 13 years ago, and consider it one of my greatest privileges in ministry to work with kids week after week in such a fun and worshipful environment," Lanier wrote in his online bio. "When trusted with great responsibility, when loved and nurtured, gently instructed, and, perhaps most importantly, when valued, kids can accomplish amazing things."

Investigators asked anyone else who had similar contact with Lanier to call the Sheriff’s Office at 540-658-4400 or Detective Tim Covington at 540-658-4450.