The family of the second girl assaulted by a Virginia teen broke its silence Monday to say that her plight could have been avoided if not for the “ineptitude” of Loudoun County school officials who kept the skirt-wearing assailant in school even after he was charged in an earlier bathroom rape.
The comments came after the indictment of Loudoun County Public Schools spokesman Wayde Byard and former Superintendent Scott Ziegler for allegedly false statements.
The father of the first victim, Scott Smith, was thrust into the limelight after he was arrested at a June 22, 2021 school board meeting where Ziegler denied awareness of any bathroom rapes, despite having intimate knowledge of the attack on Smith’s daughter a month prior. But the second girl, who was dragged into an empty classroom, choked, and sexually assaulted in October 2021 at Broad Run High School, has remained silent publicly except for remarks at the assailant’s sentencing in court.
On Monday, her family issued a searing statement through their lawyer, Patrick Regan, saying that no school board members or officials had ever reached out to their daughter to ask how she was doing or express sympathy.
“With the release of the Grand Jury report, the public now knows what we have suspected since the start of this tragic event – that what happened to her on October 6, 2021 could have and should have been prevented,” the statement read.
“Over the last 14 months since our daughter was assaulted, not one member of the school board, LCPS administration, or even our local high school leadership has reached out to check on how she is doing, lend any type of support or even apologize for what we are going through as a family. That alone speaks volumes to what we have endured throughout this ordeal.”
The 15-year-old victim showed more courage than school officials when she reported the incident to the Sheriff’s Resource Officer, the family’s statement said.
Ziegler, who was fired last week, was indicted for allegedly making a false statement at the June 22, 2021 school board meeting. Byard was indicted for alleged felony perjury. Hours after the May 2021 bathroom rape, Byard wrote an email to parents–attributed to the school’s principal–that told them there was no threat to student safety that day, and that police were on campus to deal with an unruly parent. That was a reference to Smith, who came to the school after being told of his daughter’s assault, and was unhappy with the school’s handling of it. The email offered counseling to students who were traumatized by having to see police or Smith–a marked contrast to what the second victim’s family says it was offered.
Ziegler allegedly made his false comment about bathroom rapes as part of remarks intended to dismiss parental concerns about a transgender policy the school board wanted to pass. While the school board appeared to have its own reasons for hiding the incident, neither family wanted to come forward because of the sensitive and personal nature of their childrens’ ordeals. Ultimately, Smith refrained from explaining his reasons for being unruly at the school board meeting even after he was splashed on the front pages of leftist media outlets who were demonizing him.
He agreed to tell his story in The Daily Wire, which broke the story of the rape coverup, only when the second assault convinced him that the system wasn’t working.
Critics said the revelation that partisan school officials were willing to jeopardize student safety and lie to parents to push an ideological transgender agenda played a role in the election of Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, in November 2021. Youngkin and his attorney general, Jason Miyares, called for a special grand jury of citizens to investigative the school system’s conduct, which unsealed the indictments Monday.
The grand jury also issued a 91-page report last Monday, with Loudoun school board chairman Jeff Morse first saying he was “pleased” that the report was not accompanied by indictments, before firing Ziegler the next day. Morse did not return a request for comment from The Daily Wire last week.
The grand jury’s fact-finding report said that Loudoun officials had “intentional amnesia” when forced to testify, and that “We believe that throughout this ordeal LCPS administrators were looking out for their own interests instead of the best interests of LCPS.”