Loudoun County School Officials Indicted by Grand Jury Over Sexual Assault Coverups

Two former officials of the Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) district have been indicted by a grand jury on charges relating to their efforts to cover up two cases of sexual assault against female students by a male student who identified as “transgender,” in order to preserve the district’s pro-transgender policies.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, former Superintendent Scott Ziegler and former Public Information Officer Wayde Byard have both been indicted. Ziegler faces charges of false publication, prohibited conduct, and penalizing a district employee for making a court appearance; Byard faces one charge of felony perjury. Ziegler was finally fired by LCPS last week after the grand jury had determined that “district administrators pursued their own interest instead of that of their students.”

The notorious incidents took place last year, when a male student who believes himself to be “gender-fluid” entered the girl’s restroom while wearing a skirt, where he then raped a female freshman. As the student was allowed to use facilities of the other gender due to the school’s pro-transgenderism stance, the incident was kept quiet by administrators, and the rapist faced no penalties from the school; he was instead quietly transferred from Stone Bridge High School to another LCPS school, Broad Run High, where he sexually assaulted another female student. Only after the second assault was he finally charged in a juvenile court, being found guilty of the first rape and pleading “no contest” to the second assault.

The string of assaults led to widespread outrage from parents in the district and proved to be a watershed moment in the grassroots protest movement against school boards taking place across the country in 2021. Loudoun, along with several other northern Virginia counties such as Fairfax and Arlington, had become ground zero for the movement after Scott Smith, the father of the first rape victim, angrily confronted the LCPS school board at a public meeting.

After revealing that his daughter had first been raped by the same student, the school board ordered Smith’s removal from the room; Smith was beaten bloody by the police officers, dragged out of the room, and arrested. The video of his arrest went viral, sparking even greater backlash. In subsequent interviews, Smith gave further details about the district’s deliberate cover-up efforts of the incident, including their use of police to force him, his wife, and his daughter off-campus on the very same day his daughter was raped, denying her medical attention.

In a statement issued sometime after the incident, Ziegler falsely declared that LCPS had no “record of assaults occurring in our restrooms,” even though he knew about the first rape immediately after it had happened. The district also continued its policy of letting students “use restrooms based on their gender identity rather than their biological sex.”

The school board protest movement is widely credited with fueling the massive Republican landslide that swept the state of Virginia in the 2021 election cycle, with Republicans taking all three statewide offices and flipping control of the Virginia House of Delegates.

About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: iStock/Getty Images

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