The sheriff of Loudoun County blasted the county superintendent for allowing a student accused of a highly publicized sexual assault at a local high school to transfer schools despite knowing about the assault the day it occurred.
Loudoun Sheriff Mike Chapman accused superintendent Scott Ziegler in a letter last month of knowing about the "alleged sexual offense the day it occurred" but nevertheless allowing the student accused of the assault to transfer to another school "despite knowing the serious nature of the offense."
Chapman's Nov. 10 letter was the latest in a war of words between Ziegler and Chapman. The superintendent, in a Nov. 5 letter, had accused the sheriff's office of relaying "inaccurate information" about the assault to the Loudoun board of supervisors during their Nov. 3 meeting.
The sheriff's office had told the board that Loudoun public schools had received timely notice about sexual assault charges filed against the student. The sheriff's letter was a response to Ziegler's.
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The assault, which occurred in the women's bathroom at Stone Bridge High School on May 28, put the Loudoun County school board and Ziegler under national scrutiny after it was revealed that the offending student was allowed to transfer schools and was subsequently accused of committing a second assault.
Ziegler was accused of attempting to cover up the incident to push through a resolution in the school board to allow transgender students to use bathrooms coinciding with their gender identity rather than their biological sex. The male student, who was found guilty of the assault in October, was wearing a skirt when the assault occurred.
The father of the female victim was arrested at a Loudoun school board meeting in June following a brief struggle with law enforcement. The victim's father, Scott Smith, claims a woman told him she didn't believe his daughter had been raped, precipitating the scuffle.
The sheriff detailed specifically how the superintendent and LCPS were notified of the alleged assault the day it occurred on May 28 and further notified when the alleged perpetrator was arrested on July 9, yet still allowed the student to attend a different Loudoun County high school where he is charged with committing a second assault.
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Chapman also noted that Ziegler had publicly announced LCPS would commission an independent review of its handling of the sexual assault the day after Virginia Attorney General-elect Jason Miyares announced he would be investigating Loudoun County Public Schools' handling of the alleged sexual assault.
Original Location: Loudoun sheriff slams school superintendent, says he knew of alleged sexual assault the day it occurred
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