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Loudoun County Sheriff Says Superintendent Knew about Sexual Assault in Girls’ Bathroom the Day It Happened

A parent protests the Loudoun County School Board’s handling of a sexual assault that happened in a school bathroom in Ashburn, Va., October 26, 2021. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

The Loudoun County, Va., sheriff says Loudoun County Public Schools was notified in July that a transgender student who sexually assaulted a female student in one of the district’s high schools had been arrested. The school district then chose to move the student to a different school, where he allegedly sexually assaulted another student in early October.

The revelation comes in a rebuttal to a letter Loudoun County superintendent Scott Ziegler sent to the sheriff, Michael Chapman, earlier this month claiming that the district “cannot confirm” that it received the required notification of charges from the sheriff’s office regarding the assault case.

Chapman wrote back to Ziegler on November 10, in a letter obtained by 7News, that the Loudoun Juvenile Detention Center sent a letter to the district on July 9 saying the suspect in the Stone Bridge High assault case had been taken into custody. 

Chapman added that Ziegler was “unmistakably aware of the offense” and that the superintendent clearly knew about the assault on the same day it happened in May, given that Ziegler “personally reported” the offense to the school board that day.

“Nothing in your letter addresses the following facts,” Chapman wrote to Ziegler. “That you knew of the alleged sexual offense the day it occurred. That despite a public statement at a School Board meeting on June 22, 2021 denying any knowledge of sexual assaults in any LCPS bathrooms, you sent an email on May 28, 2021 to members of the school board advising them of the incident — thus invalidating your public statement.”

Chapman said the district chose to place “this individual back into (another) high school population” despite being aware of the “serious nature of the offense.”

“The consequences of that decision resulted in a second student being victimized by the same defendant,” Chapman wrote.

The sheriff also expressed concerns about the “legitimacy” of LCPS’s independent review into the issue.

“I noticed that you commissioned an ‘independent’ review, which I assume will be paid for by the LCPS using Loudoun County taxpayer dollars,” said Chapman. “You announced this a day after incoming Attorney General Jason Miyares stated publicly that he intends to investigate this incident. While I believe an independent review would be helpful, I have concerns of the legitimacy of such a review conducted at your direction. As the Attorney General is accountable to the citizens of Virginia, I feel an Attorney General review is the most objective way to move forward on this issue.”

The back-and-forth comes after a Virginia juvenile-court judge found last month that there was sufficient evidence to conclude that a transgender teenager sexually assaulted the female student. The victim’s father told the Daily Wire that the male student forcibly sodomized his ninth-grade daughter in a school bathroom while wearing a skirt. When the father tried to tell the school board about the incident at a meeting, he was arrested for disorderly conduct.

While the 15-year-old girl testified that she had engaged in consensual sexual activity with the defendant twice in a girls’ bathroom at Stone Bridge High School before the assault, she described being violently coerced into performing sexual acts during a subsequent encounter.

The perpetrator was allowed to remain enrolled in the school system while local law enforcement conducted an investigation.

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