The Loudoun County, Virginia teen who sexually assaulted two fellow students in incidents at two different schools has been found guilty and sentenced to probation with supervision at a residential treatment facility.
Due to the extreme nature of the case, the presiding judge ordered the young man to register for life as a sex offender. She noted that she had never done so in the case of a minor. Comments from the judge made it clear that she was extraordinarily disturbed by the psychological state of the young man:
“You scared me. What I read scared me,” the judge said, adding, “Young man, you need a lot of help.”
The Loudoun County controversy has been a flashpoint for a nationwide debate on gender and bathroom policies.
In the first incident last May, the teen, a biological male wearing a skirt, entered the girl’s restroom and assaulted a female student. In spite of that ongoing case, the boy was transferred to another school in the district while the school appeared to try and hide the seriousness of what happened.
Shortly after school started in the fall, the boy committed another sexual assault at the new school. The Loudoun County Sheriff accused the school board of enabling the second assault and questioned the district’s efforts to investigate the situation. A Loudoun County official came under fire for calling parents who were concerned about the board’s handling of the situation “alt-right.” Disturbing videos also emerged of the father of one of the assault victims being forcibly subdued and arrested for speaking up at a school board meeting.
During sentencing, impact statements from the victims and their families lasted for more than an hour. The boy was fourteen during the first assault and was not tried in adult court. The young woman assaulted in the May restroom incident read a prepared statement expressing her desire to see the young man get the help he needs in a treatment center and not in a jail cell. The victim’s mother recalled how the event should never have been allowed to happen, and that the event would stick with them forever.
The victim’s father, Scott Smith, claimed that he had been accused of “lying for political gain” and that “this whole thing caused division in the community. Division in my business.” Smith went on to address his daughter’s assaulter, saying, “I hope you get the help you need…Your family and system failed you.”
In total, the young man has been charged on four counts between the two incidents. Charges in the first incident were forcible sodomy and forcible fellatio, and in the second incident, abduction and sexual battery. He will be under supervision and probation in a residential care facility until he turns eighteen.
The young man cried as his sentence was read aloud, stating that he would never do anything like this again. He was led out of the courtroom as he waved goodbye to his parents. In closing, the judge thanked the victims for coming forward with their stories.
While the sentencing appears to close this particular case, the legal battles over how the school district handled the events are far from over. The mother of one of the victims is filing a Title IX lawsuit against the school board, with the aim that “no child, and no parent, will ever have to suffer what we have as a result of the misguided policies of our local government officials.”