Loudoun County Public Schools in Northern Virginia is being accused of covering up allegations that a boy in late May sexually assaulted a young girl in her school’s restroom—the nightmare scenario so often described by opponents of radical transgender school policies.
The school system allegedly covered up the incident by transferring the male student to a neighboring school, where police said, he was arrested after sexually assaulting another student.
In a statement to The Daily Signal on Wednesday, Loudoun County Public Schools defended itself from allegations that it improperly handled the incidents. However, the statement notably did not express sympathy toward or compassion for the alleged victims or their families.
“Loudoun County Public Schools is aware of the media and social media reports concerning alleged sexual assaults at two of our high school campuses,” the statement said. “While LCPS takes student privacy seriously and cannot reveal details concerning the actions of any specific student, we do want to clarify our investigative process.”
The school statement said that it followed legal processes and reported the alleged assaults to law enforcement.
“Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office was contacted within minutes of receiving the initial report on May 28,” the statement said. “Once a matter has been reported to law enforcement, LCPS does not begin its investigation until law enforcement advises LCPS that it has completed the criminal investigation.”
To maintain the integrity of the criminal investigation, law enforcement requested that LCPS not interview students until their investigation is concluded. LCPS has cooperated and continues to cooperate with law enforcement.
Conspicuous Media Silence
More than a full day after The Daily Wire’s Luke Rosiak published the cover-up allegations on Monday evening, major news media outlets had not yet reported on the story. That includes ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. None of those outlets responded to requests for comment from The Daily Signal.
Many of the outlets forgoing coverage of the Loudoun incidents have actively covered Loudoun County’s actions over the past few months. CNN, for example, published an Aug. 12 story on the county passing “an inclusive policy for transgender and gender-expansive students” that described “heated” School Board meetings and detailed those new Loudoun County Public School policies.
Fight for Schools Executive Director Ian Prior told The Daily Signal on Wednesday that it’s “appalling” to see much of the media ignoring the story.
“We are talking about allegations of two sexual assaults by the same person in Loudoun County Public Schools,” he said. “This is about the safety of our children, and any media outlet not digging into what LCPS knew, and when they knew it, is engaging in journalistic malpractice.”
Same Suspect in Both Cases
The victim’s father, Scott Smith, told The Daily Wire that in late May, a boy dressed in a skirt entered a girls restroom at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, Virginia, and sexually assaulted his daughter.
The suspect was “gender-fluid,” Rosiak reported.
Police arrested Smith during a School Board meeting June 22 that was scheduled to discuss transgender policies. He had wanted to address the board about the assault on his daughter about three weeks earlier, but was not allowed to do so because of a requirement to register in advance to speak. He was sentenced to 10 days in jail, all of it suspended, for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Video footage shows police dragging the distraught and bloodied father from the School Board meeting.
Photographs and videos of Smith’s arrest quickly circulated on the internet, making Smith a “poster child,” as Rosiak wrote, for right-wing “domestic terrorism” types described by the National School Board Association in a letter asking President Joe Biden’s administration to take action against parents protesting radical school policies.
“It has been so hard to keep my mouth shut and wait this out. It has been the most powerless thing I’ve ever been through,” Smith told The Daily Wire. “I don’t care if he’s homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, transsexual. He’s a sexual predator.”
Police have confirmed two reports of sexual assaults, in May and in October. Smith’s attorney, Elizabeth Lancaster, told Fox News that both assaults were committed by the same suspect, though the sheriff’s office would not confirm that fact to The Daily Signal since the suspect is a juvenile.
Lancaster did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Regarding the October assault, police said that a 15-year-old teenager from Ashburn was charged with sexual battery and abduction of a fellow student from Broad Run High School, also in Ashburn, after the suspect “forced the victim into an empty classroom where he held her against her will and inappropriately touched her.”
“The suspect remains held at the Loudoun County Juvenile Detention Center,” the sheriff’s office said in a press release.
The sheriff’s office confirmed to The Daily Signal on Wednesday that a two-month-long investigation was conducted to determine the facts of the May case “prior to arrest” and that the case is still pending court proceedings.
The Daily Wire confirmed through a public records request that a May 28 report exists detailing forcible sodomy and sexual battery at Stone Bridge High School.
Smith’s attorney also told The Daily Wire that the suspect has been charged with two counts of forcible sodomy, one count of anal sodomy, and one count of forcible fellatio in the May case. The sheriff’s office would not confirm those details to The Daily Signal.
Loudoun County Public Schools further defended itself in its Wednesday statement by saying that it is prevented from disciplining students without following federal Title IX grievance processes—processes that, according to the Department of Education, must incorporate “due process principles, treats all parties fairly, and reaches reliable responsibility determinations.”
LCPS does impose interim measures to protect the safety of students involved in the original incident, deter retaliation, and preserve the integrity of the investigation and resolution process. LCPS has complied and continues to comply with its obligations under Title IX.
The school system then specifically defended School Board members, noting that they are “typically not given details of disciplinary matters.”
“The board may be obligated to consider long-term suspensions or expulsions and must ensure that students have not been deprived of due process,” the statement said. “Consequently, members of the Loudoun County School Board were not aware of the specific details of this incident until it was reported in media outlets earlier this week. We are unable to locate any records that indicate that Scott Smith had registered in advance to speak at the June 22, 2021, board meeting.”
What Did They Know, When Did They Know It?
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to The Daily Signal on Wednesday that the Stone Bridge High School assault case was reported to the Loudoun County school resource officer on May 28 by school personnel.
The school district quietly transferred the teenage suspect to Broad Run High School after the alleged May 28 assault, Rosiak reported.
That suggests that Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Ziegler might have lied when he said at the June 22 meeting, shortly before Smith was arrested, that “the predator transgender student or person simply does not exist,” adding, “We don’t have any record of assaults occurring in our restrooms.”
Prior emphasized to The Daily Signal that if Ziegler “knew and lied, he should be immediately terminated.”
“If he didn’t know, he is an incompetent fool and should be immediately terminated,” Prior added.
The Fight for Schools director added that it “stretches the bounds of reason” for School Board members to say they did not know about the alleged assaults, “given that much of the community became aware of Smith’s situation in the days that followed his arrest.”
“Even if they were completely out of touch and did not know,” he added, “the fact that the board was passing a policy that would allow biological males to use girls’ bathrooms, it was incumbent on them to investigate before voting for that policy. At best, this is incompetence and neglect of duty on their part.”
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