Gov. Youngkin pardons sexual assault victim’s father after Loudoun Co. school board meeting arrest

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin granted a pardon Sunday to a father arrested at a Loudoun County School Board meeting in 2021 after his daughter was sexually assaulted in a school bathroom.

The man’s daughter was raped at Stone Bridge High School — leading to the father’s arrest for disrupting a contentious June 22, 2021 school board meeting.

The man, whom WTOP is not naming to avoid indirectly identifying the teenager who was sexually assaulted, had been arrested and convicted in District Court of disorderly conduct and obstruction of justice, both misdemeanors.

Youngkin called him “a dedicated parent who’s faced unwarranted charges in his pursuit to protect his daughter” in a news release, after the father disrupted a comment period on transgender policy at the school board meeting and resisted arrest.

“In Virginia, parents matter and my resolve to empower parents in unwavering,” Youngkin said. “A parent’s fundamental right to be involved in their child’s education, upbringing, and care should never be undermined by bureaucracy, school divisions or the state.”

The man had appealed his charges in Circuit Court last year, and the court ruled to drop a second count of obstruction of justice before the governor’s pardon.

A now-16-year-old was found criminally responsible of two counts of sodomy in the May 28 incident at Stone Bridge High School and a separate incident on Oct. 6 at Broad Run High School. He will remain on supervised probation in a locked juvenile treatment facility until his 18th birthday.

Scott Ziegler, the former Loudoun County superintendent, was fired and is currently being prosecuted after the Virginia Attorney’s General found that the county had mishandled their investigation into the two sexual assaults.

Youngkin also said the father’s “commitment to his child despite the immense obstacles is emblematic of the parental empowerment movement that started in Virginia.”

Hours later, the county’s top prosecutor argued that the move was a divisive political move more focused on the coming election than local families.

In a statement, Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj — who is also running for reelection — called Youngkin’s pardon a “political stunt” that interfered in “an active legal case.”

“The justice system does not work when a Governor becomes the judge and jury,” she said.

WTOP’s Neal Augenstein and Ivy Lyons contributed to this report.

Emily Venezky

Emily Venezky is a digital writer/editor at WTOP. Emily grew up listening to and reading local news in Los Angeles, and she’s excited to cover stories in her chosen home of the DMV. She recently graduated from The George Washington University, where she studied political science and journalism.

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