Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has pardoned Scott Smith, a Loudoun County father who protested against the sexual assault of his daughter and what he perceived as the public school’s attempt to cover up the incident.
Smith had been convicted of disorderly conduct in August 2021 for his actions during a school board meeting where he expressed his anger over the handling of his daughter’s case.
Governor Youngkin announced the pardon on “Fox News Sunday” and stated that he signed the pardon on the preceding Friday.
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He explained that he had spoken with Mr. Smith and believed that Smith should never have been prosecuted in the first place. Youngkin characterized Smith’s actions as that of a father standing up for his daughter’s well-being.
“I spoke with Mr. Smith on Friday, and I had the privilege of telling Mr. Smith that I will pardon him, and we did that on Friday,” Youngkin said on Fox News. “We righted a wrong. He should’ve never been prosecuted here. This was a dad standing up for his daughter.”
“His daughter had been sexually assaulted in the bathroom of a school, and no one was doing anything about it,” he continued adding that the school superintendent has “covered it up.”
Smith’s daughter was sexually assaulted in a restroom at Stone Bridge High School by a biological male said to have been wearing a skirt.
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The sexual assault coverup
In October of 2021, Loudoun County Public Schools responded to allegations that it covered up two separate instances of sexual assault at two different high schools in a statement provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation on Wednesday.
“Mr. Smith did what any father would do, what any parent would do, which is stand up for their child,” Youngkin said. “This was gross miscarriage of justice.”
“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. The district said it can’t reveal details of a specific student, but that it wanted to clarify its “investigative process.”
Parents called for the resignation of the district’s superintendent, Scott Ziegler, and other school board members during the public comment portion of Tuesday’s school board meeting, citing the allegations that the Loudon County Public Schools (LCPS) school district and its leadership knowingly covered up the two incidents of sexual assault, the Daily Wire originally reported.
The school district said that it properly followed the process outlined in Virginia Code § 22.1-279.3:1 that requires principals or their designees “to report to the local law enforcement agency any act, including sexual assault, that may constitute a felony offense.”
The district said the “Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office was contacted within minutes of receiving the initial report on May 28” and that the district does not start its own investigation until law enforcement has finished its criminal investigation. LCPS said law enforcement asked the district to not interview students until their investigation concluded in order to “maintain the integrity of the criminal investigation.”
LCPS also said that it can’t discipline a student without following the “Title IX grievance process,” which controls sexual harassment and sexual assault complaints.
“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,” the statement said.
School board members “were not aware of the specific details of this incident until it was reported in media outlets earlier this week,” according to the statement. Board members are “typically not given details of disciplinary matters,” but they “may be obligated to consider long-term suspensions or expulsions” while ensuring no student is deprived of due process.
The father of the first alleged sexual assault victim, Scott Smith, was arrested at a Loudoun County school board meeting on June 22 for “unlawful assembly” after attending the meeting in order to voice opposition to a transgender student policy that allowed students to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with.
“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,” the statement concludes.
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