FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A former school counselor in Fairfax County has been arrested after it was discovered the school he was working for had not been informed of his history as a registered sex offender.
The Virginia State Police Sex Offender and Firearms Investigative Unit announced that, on Thursday morning, Aug. 25, with the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service, 50-year-old Darren Thornton of Richmond had been arrested following an investigation into his registration for the Virginia Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry (SOR).
Thornton was charged with four counts of failure to register violations for allegedly providing false information and incomplete paperwork to state police when registering for the SOR, according to police. These violations reportedly occurred on two separate occasions; during the initial submission of paperwork and during a verification check by a state trooper.
According to police, Thornton was taken into custody without incident. He is being held without bond at the City of Richmond Jail.
The former school counselor was recently fired after it was discovered he had been arrested in Chesterfield County two years ago for soliciting a minor. Chesterfield County Police reportedly arrested Thornton on Nov. 19, 2020, for solicitation of prostitution from a minor. This arrest appeared to have not been communicated due to a clerical error.
The Chesterfield County Police Department told ABC 7News that Chesterfield Police sent an email to Fairfax County Public Schools about Thornton’s arrest on Nov. 20, 2020, one day after the arrest took place. But this week, police said that the email came back as “undeliverable.”
Thornton continued working as a school counselor even after he was convicted in March 2022 on the charge of solicitation of prostitution from a minor in 2020. In June 2022, he was arrested again, and the school district was informed of the arrest directly by Chesterfield County Police.
The investigation remains ongoing, according to Virginia State Police.