Posted by on October 14, 2021 12:01 am
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Loudoun County sheriff responds to ‘misinformation’ surrounding alleged sexual assaults in schools

Scott Smith is detained after a fight broke out during a Loudoun County School Board meeting which included a discussion of Critical Race Theory and transgender students, in Ashburn, Virginia, U.S. June 22, 2021. Evelyn Hockstein/REUTERS

Loudoun County sheriff responds to ‘misinformation’ surrounding alleged sexual assaults in schools

Elizabeth Faddis October 13, 11:37 PMOctober 13, 11:37 PM

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office responded to “misinformation” regarding claims of a cover-up in response to a pair of alleged sexual assaults in local Virginia high schools.

According to the statement from the sheriff’s office, one of its school resource officers was notified by Stone Bridge High School staff of a possible sexual assault on May 28.

Following a “thorough” investigation by its Special Victims Unit over the course of several weeks, a 14-year-old male was arrested on July 8 on two counts of forcible sodomy, the office said.

“Following the arrest on July 8, 2021, the judicial process was turned over to the Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office to determine bail, or in the case of a juvenile, the continuance of detention or other legal restrictions set forth as part of court proceedings in the Loudoun County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court,” the statement said.

“As stated in both the current and former Memorandum of Understanding between the LCSO and Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS), the Loudoun Sheriff’s Office is not involved in school discipline (nor the placement of students). Nevertheless, the LCSO works closely with school officials throughout all criminal investigations,” the sheriff’s office added.

A second incident occurred on Oct. 6 at Broad Run High School, in which authorities said a 15-year-old male forced a female student into an empty classroom, held her there against her will, and inappropriately touched her. The incident was followed by an “immediate” arrest and charges of sexual battery and abduction, according to the statement.

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The October “arrest was reported to the community as information released was unlikely to disclose the identity of the victim,” the sheriff’s office said. “However, the May 28, 2021 investigation was different in that the suspect and victim were familiar with each other, the investigation was complex, and a public announcement had the potential to identify a juvenile victim.”

“The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office remains committed to the safety of all students and will investigate all incidents reported by Loudoun County Public Schools to the fullest extent of the law,” the statement said. “Further information regarding the identity of a juvenile suspect is excluded from disclosure pursuant to Virginia Code §16.1-301 and criminal history information is exempt under Virginia Code §19.2-389.”

Intense scrutiny was placed on the situation following an investigative report from the Daily Wire that Scott Smith, the victim’s parent, revealed it was a 14-year-old boy wearing a skirt who entered the girls’ bathroom and allegedly sexually assaulted her.

Smith was arrested on June 22 during a Loudoun County Public Schools board meeting, in which he tried to speak out after his daughter had been allegedly raped and beaten at school. Smith was dragged from the meeting in handcuffs, with his pants falling down, and left with a bloody lip. He was later charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Though the records are sealed, Elizabeth Lancaster, Smith’s attorney, told the news outlet that the male student had been “charged with two counts of forcible sodomy, one count of anal sodomy, and one count of forcible fellatio, related to an incident that day at that school.”

Residents of Loudoun County recently rallied outside the Ashburn school board headquarters, where speakers criticized a policy allowing students to use the facilities of their preferred gender and requiring teachers and staff to address students by their preferred pronouns. In addition, dozens of parents demanded the resignation of a Loudoun County superintendent following outrage over claims of sexual assault and an alleged cover-up.

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This is not the first time Loudoun County has grabbed national attention during a year with a closely watched governor’s race.

The school board drew scrutiny with a fight between parents in March when several members argued over curriculum after board members created a private Facebook group targeting parents who opposed the teachings of critical race theory.

Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memorandum on Oct. 4 directing the FBI to address “threats of violence” made toward school boards and teachers amid parental frustrations regarding mask mandates, curriculum, and other differentiating views.

The Washington Examiner reached out to the Loudoun County Public Schools and Loudoun County Sherriff’s Office but did not receive a response.

© 2021 Washington Examiner

Originally appeared at Washington Examiner

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