A view of the Montgomery County Circuit Court building from the south. (Matt McDonald/Bethesda Beat)

A former Cloverly Elementary School teacher who had been convicted of sexually abusing students was released on bond Monday—two months after a judge vacated John Vigna’s convictions.

But additional victims have come forward to report having been sexually abused by Vigna, according to police—and detectives say they believe there may be more victims.

In 2017, Vigna—a Silver Spring resident—received a 48-year prison sentence for sexually abusing four minor students over a 15-year period at the Silver Spring school where he taught. In 2019, Montgomery County Public Schools separately agreed to pay a $500,000 settlement to two of the victims’ families in a lawsuit claiming the school district failed to remove Vigna from the classroom despite learning of his inappropriate behavior several years prior.

In the years since his initial conviction, Vigna has appealed his case multiple times. In July, a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge vacated and removed Vigna’s convictions from his record, ruling that his attorney was ineffective and granting him a new trial, according to the State’s Attorney’s Office.

Vigna was released on a $100,000 personal bond Monday pending his retrial—yet to be scheduled—and is not subject to house arrest, according to the State’s Attorney’s Office. However, his bond conditions include staying away from places where minors congregate, wearing an ankle monitor and not contacting minors without supervision.

State’s Attorney John McCarthy told MoCo360 in July that he did not support the decision to release Vigna.


“The conviction was upheld during the appeals process and the State argued against this latest challenge. The defendant was released over our objection,” he said. “We are disappointed by the ruling of the court but respect the judge’s decision.”

Thomas Morrow, one of Vigna’s former attorneys, reacted warmly to the decision at the time, telling MoCo360 he wishes Vigna “the best of luck.” Morrow and State’s Attorney John McCarthy could not be reached for comment Monday.

Since Vigna’s conviction, additional victims have come forward to report having been abused by Vigna, Montgomery County police said in a news release Monday.


Special Victims detectives believe there may be even more victims in the community and are urging anyone with information to call 240-773-5050 and speak with police.