LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (WRIC/WJLA) — A Virginia family who says their daughter was sexually assaulted at a Loudoun County Public School announced they will be pursuing civil action against the school district under the provisions of Title IX.
Attorneys for the Smith family said their daughter was sexually assaulted in the girls’ restroom at Stone Bridge High School on May 28 by a boy claiming to be “gender fluid.” The Smith family has retained The Stanley Law Group of Virginia.
“The sexual assault our daughter endured should never happen to any young girl, or any child, attending a public school. But because of indifference and negligence by Loudoun County Public Schools and the Loudoun School Board, it did. And now, it has happened to another girl at another Loudoun County school at the hands of the very same assailant,” Mr. and Mrs. Smith said in a statement.
WJLA spoke with Scott Smith, the father planning on filing a lawsuit against the school district, who has been pushing the school board for answers for months. Back in June, Smith was arrested at a school board meeting. He said the student suspected of the attack was back in a Loudon County schools building before the court case involving the attack of his daughter was resolved.
According to a statement from the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, the reported sexual assault happened on May 28, 2021, at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, Virginia. A school resource officer was notified by a staff member of a possible sexual assault on the same day. Authorities said the suspect and victim were familiar with each other.
A thorough investigation was conducted over the course of several weeks by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Special Victims Unit, the sheriff’s office said.
A 14-year-old boy was then arrested in the case with two counts of forcible sodomy on July 8, 2021. He was turned over to the Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.
Another sexual assault incident happened on Oct. 6 at Broad Run High School. An arrest was immediate, the sheriff’s office said.
According to a release from the sheriff’s office, a 15-year-old male forced a female student into an empty classroom, held her against his will and touched her inappropriately. The boy was charged with sexual battery and abduction of a fellow student.
The most recent statements from the sheriff’s office and school district do not confirm if the incidents are connected. According to reporting from WJLA, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office has previously confirmed the same suspect was charged in both incidents.
“Loudoun County Public Schools is aware of the media and social media reports concerning alleged sexual assaults at two of our high school campuses. 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. Principals are legally required to report to the local law enforcement agency any act, including sexual assault, that may constitute a felony offense under Va. Code 22.1-279.3:1. That process was followed with respect to these allegations. Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office was contacted within minutes of receiving the initial report on May 28. 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.
Furthermore, LCPS is prohibited from disciplining any student without following the Title IX grievance process, which includes investigating complaints of sexual harassment and sexual assault. 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.
School Board members 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. 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.”