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Loudoun County teen at center of school sexual assault cases sentenced

The Loudoun County teenager charged with sexual assault at two separate high schools has been found guilty and sentenced to supervised probation in a residential treatment facility.

The Loudoun County Juvenile Court had previously found the male student “not innocent” of charges of forcible sodomy and forcible fellatio against a female student in a May 28 incident at Stone Bridge High School. The same student pleaded “no contest” in a separate case to two charges of abduction and sexual battery involving an incident at Broad Run High School on October 6, Fox News reported from the juvenile court. The student accepted a plea agreement in the October 6 case.

Parents and community members attend a Loudoun County School Board meeting, just 40 minutes from Fairfax.
(REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)

The judge found the boy guilty on Wednesday, and ordered him to register as a sex offender, something she said she had never done to a minor before, Fox 5 DC reported. He will be on supervised probation until his 18th birthday and placed in a residential treatment facility.

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The judge told the boy that his psychological reports were scary and that he needed lots of help.

“You scared me. What I read scared me,” she said explaining why for the first time in her career she put a juvenile on the national sex offender registry for life. 

“Young man, you need a lot of help,” the judge added.  

The accused wore a green t-shirt with brown sweatpants. He was not in cuffs. 

“I will never do anything like this again.” He later cried after the sentence was read and waved to his parents in the courtroom when he was led out. 

The judge thanked the two victims for coming forward and telling their stories.  

Broad Run High School sign, Loudon County, Virginia. 

Broad Run High School sign, Loudon County, Virginia. 
(Fox Digital Originals)

The case has caused a stir in the northern Virginia county, and it focused the state’s politics on school board matters in the 2021 gubernatorial election. 

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Loudoun County Sheriff Michael Chapman blamed Superintendent Scott Ziegler for enabling the Oct. 6 assault, claiming that Ziegler knew about the May 28 incident and yet allowed the boy to remain in public schools. The school district has repeatedly denied claims of a coverup.

The persecution decided not to try the suspect in adult court, because he is a minor, 14 at the time of the first sexual assault. 

For over an hour court took victim impact statements. Since the victims were minors, their names will not be published by Fox News. 

The 15-year-old female victim who testified that she was sexually assaulted in the girls’ bathroom in May read a prepared statement saying she hoped the suspect gets the help he needs in a treatment program, “not a jail cell.” 

Loudon County students walked out of class to protest the school district's handling of sexual assault cases in October 2021. 

Loudon County students walked out of class to protest the school district’s handling of sexual assault cases in October 2021. 
(Fox Digital Originals)

The victim’s mother Jessica Smith said the crime should have “never occurred” and her daughter would have to live with this trauma forever. “You live with this for the rest of your life,” she said. 

Her husband, Scott Smith said in court “This whole thing caused division in the community. Division in my business.”  He testified that he had been accused of “lying for political gain.” 

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He said the suspect took advantage of his daughter’s “fragile mind.”  He read a prepared statement for the court where he called the suspect a “dangerous animal.” Scott Smith continued, “dangerous animals belong in cages. Sometimes even put down.” He vowed, “this isn’t over.” 

Turning to the victim Scott Smith said, “I hope you get the help you need” and added, “Your family and system failed you.” 

A second family, who has never been identified publicly, spoke about the trauma their daughter suffered. She was also 15 and was sexually assaulted months after the suspect was transferred to another high school in Loudoun County.  The victim read a prepared statement as well saying, “What you have done to me will forever change my life.” 

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