Loudoun County school board issues statement after being accused of covering up sexual assaults of girls

"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," the statement said.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

In response to demands that school superintendent Scott Ziegler resign over the alleged cover-up of two sexual assaults that happened in Loudoun County Public Schools, the LPCS issued a statement defending their actions on Wednesday.

"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," the statement began.

"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," the statement continued.

LCPS said that they cannot begin their own 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," the statement said.

"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," the statement read.

The statement also noted that "School Board members are typically not given details of disciplinary matters."

"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," the statement said.

They also noted that they were unable to find records that indicate the father of one of the victims, Scott Smith, had registered in advance to speak at the June 22 school board meeting in which he was arrested.

The statement comes after media attention has been pointed at two cases of sexual assault that have occurred in Loudoun County Public Schools over the last few months.

In May, the ninth-grade daughter of Scott Smith was assaulted in a bathroom by a boy wearing a skirt. That 15-year-old boy was reportedly charged with two counts of forcible sodomy, one count of anal sodomy, and one count of forcible fellatio.

On October 6, at another school in the district, a 15-year-old boy was charged with sexual battery and abduction of a fellow student, according to the sheriff's office.

"The boy allegedly forced a female victim into her empty classroom where he held her against her will and inappropriately touched her," reported Fox News.

Smith believes that "this is in fact, the sexual predator that assaulted my daughter."

"We were under the impression from the prosecutor, that this sexual predator was being held on in house arrest with an ankle monitor, and would not return to school until these court sessions were done. You know, you're innocent until you're proven guilty. I understand that. But we do have to protect everyone at the same time," Smith said.


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