Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun Schools’ handling of sex assault cases

In one of his first actions after taking office, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin ordered the commonwealth’s attorney general to investigate Loudoun County Public School’s response to two sexual assaults committed by a 15-year-old high school student.

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares announced the opening of the investigation in a press release.

“Loudoun Country [sic] Public Schools covered up a sexual assault on school grounds for political gain, leading to an additional assault of a young girl,” Miyares said.

The announcement came amid ongoing criticism of the school system for its handling of the situation, which began in May, when a teenager sexually assaulted a schoolmate in a bathroom at Stone Bridge High School. After the first incident, the student was transferred to Broad Run High School, where he was accused of groping another student.

“What we’re going to be looking into is the entire circumstances around the decisions that were made to actually move this young man from one school to another, to not inform parents, to not inform the community and oh, by the way, clearly to put other students in risk for their safety,” Youngkin told FOX News Sunday.

The governor said the decision to move the student and not initially notify parents about the sexual assault investigation at Stone Bridge High School put the safety of students at risk. The May 28 incident only became public after the victim’s father told the Daily Wire that the same teen who attacked his daughter also groped another student at Broad Run in October.

“There is strong, strong, strong evidence that in fact it was not only not taken seriously in Loudoun County, it was hidden,” Youngkin said.

In addition to school officials, the county’s school board has also faced backlash for how the situation was handled, after is was discovered Superintendent Scott Ziegler alerted the board about the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office’s investigation into the first sexual assault.

“We’re going to get full transparency and we’re going to make sure that we hold this school board accountable for the decisions that were made,” Youngkin said.

WTOP reached out to Loudoun County Public Schools for comment. Ziegler has apologized for the school system’s reaction to the cases, and LCPS announced last week steps being taken to better respond to allegations of sexual assault.

The school system also hired the law firm Blankingship & Keith, P.C. to conduct a review of how the cases were handled, but announced the report would be withheld from the public.

The governor also said while he is surprised no one has stepped down in response to the handing of the cases, he said he expects resignations at the conclusion of the investigation.

The student accused in both sexual assaults was sentenced to probation and must register as a sex offender for the May 28 assault at Stone Bridge High School. The teen was also found responsible for abduction and sexual battery in the Oct. 6 assault at Broad Run High School.

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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