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Teen perpetrator of Loudoun County high school sexual assaults not required to register as sex offender

Loudoun County, School Board, Viginia
A woman sits with her sign during a Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) board meeting in Ashburn, Virginia, on October 12, 2021. |

The perpetrator of two sexual assaults against high school girls in Loudoun County, Virginia, has been removed from a sex offender registry following a legal defense made by a Republican member of the county’s board of supervisors. 

Earlier this month, Judge Pamela Brooks of the Loudoun County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court ordered the teenage perpetrator of the sexual assaults at Stone Bridge High School and Broad Run High School last year to “complete a sex offender treatment program”  and register as a sex offender. The sexual assault at Stone Bridge High School drew particular outrage after The Daily Wire reported that a “boy allegedly wearing in a skirt” raped a teenage girl in a girls’ bathroom at the school. 

At a hearing Thursday, Brooks reversed her order that the teenager register as a sex offender, concluding that, “This court made an error in my initial ruling.” Her reversal followed a plea from one of the boy’s attorneys, Caleb Kershner, a Republican member of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors.

“We are setting him up for failure,” Kershner said in his closing remarks. “We’re not even giving this young man a chance.”

Scott Smith, the father of the victim of the sexual assault at Stone Bridge High School, lamented the development in a statement: “My wife and I are not just heartbroken about today’s ruling, we are quite frankly mad at how the justice system and the Loudoun Commonwealth’s attorney have let down both our daughter, as well as the other victims of his predatory actions.”

“The person who committed these horrible crimes against these young women will now, due to the errors of the country prosecutor, not have to bear the permanent shame at being known as a lifetime registered sex offender, as he had been originally sentenced,” he added. “We are now concerned, more than ever, that this change in his legal status may put other parents’ daughters at risk of physical harm in the future.”

The sexual assault against Smith’s daughter took place on May 28, as the Loudoun County School District was considering implementing a policy that would allow trans-identified students to use bathrooms that correspond with their chosen gender identity instead of their biological sex.

At a contentious June 22 school board meeting where numerous parents showed up to express their disapproval of the policy, Superintendent of Schools Scott Ziegler denied that any sexual assaults had occurred in the school district’s bathrooms. 

The Loudoun County School Board approved the transgender bathroom policy on Aug. 10. Two months later, the perpetrator of the sexual assault at Stone Bridge High School committed another sexual assault in a classroom at Broad Run High School. News of the sexual assaults at the two high schools first broke days later. 

Loudoun County Sheriff Michael Chapman took issue with Ziegler’s insistence that no sexual assaults had occurred in bathrooms in Loudoun County Public Schools. In a letter, Chapman asserted to Ziegler that “you knew of the sexual assault the day it occurred.” 

Chapman cited a May 28 email made public by a local news outlet where Ziegler told Loudoun County School Board members that “a female student alleged that a male student sexually assaulted her in the restroom” earlier that day. Critics of the school district contend that the leadership covered up the sexual assault at Stone Bridge High School to prevent the transgender bathroom policy, a top priority of progressives, from derailing.

The situation in Loudoun County arguably played a role in the outcome of the 2021 Virginia elections. Republican Jason Miyares won the Attorney General’s election after vowing to open an investigation into Loudoun County’s handling of the sexual assaults. Republicans won the two other statewide contests in Virginia last year, specifically the gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial races, in addition to regaining control of the House of Delegates. 

The outrage at Loudoun County Public Schools is not limited to their handling of the sexual assaults at the two high schools. Parents had previously expressed outrage over sexually explicit books containing graphic descriptions of sex acts that children were forced to read in a freshman honors English class. Outcry over exposure to sexually explicit material in schools has extended into neighboring Fairfax County and all across the U.S.

Exit polling of the Virginia gubernatorial election conducted by CNN showed that most Virginians (52%) believed that parents should have “a lot” of say in what schools teach their children. Republican Glenn Youngkin carried this group with 77% of the vote compared to Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s 22%. McAuliffe received backlash when he asserted at a gubernatorial debate that “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

Exit polling of the other two statewide races in Virginia yielded similar findings. Miyares won 78% support among those who thought parents should have “a lot” of say in what schools teach as his Democratic opponent received 22% support. Seventy-seven percent of those who believe parents should have “a lot” of input in what schools teach supported Republican Winsome Sears for lieutenant governor, while 23% supported her Democratic opponent.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

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