The Loudoun County sheriff accused the school district's superintendent of taking actions that enabled a male student who had sexually assaulted a girl in a girls' restroom to go on to assault another student in another public school. The sheriff also questioned the superintendent's promised investigation into the assaults.
Loudoun County Sheriff Michael Chapman made these claims in response to Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) Superintendent Scott Ziegler, who had sent a letter accusing Chapman's office of failing to meet the requirements of Virginia law in notifying LCPS about the charges the male student faced.
Chapman's letter noted that Ziegler knew about the May 28 assault at Stone Bridge High School "the day it occurred," and he noted that Juvenile Intake notified LCPS of the student's arrest on July 9.
Chapman added, "despite knowing the serious nature of the offense, LCPS decided to place this individual back into [another] high school population" and "the consequences of that decision resulted in a second student being victimized by the same defendant" on Oct. 6 at Broad Run High School.
The sheriff also noted that Ziegler "commissioned an ‘independent’ review, which I assume will be paid for by the LCPS using Loudoun County taxpayer dollars. You announced this a day after incoming Attorney General Jason Miyares stated publicly that he intends to investigate this incident."
"While I believe an independent review would be helpful, I have concerns of the legitimacy of such a review conducted at your direction," Chapman wrote. "As the Attorney General is accountable to the citizens of Virginia, I feel an Attorney General review is the most objective way to move forward on this issue."
The sheriff's letter came in response to a letter in which Ziegler suggested that the sheriff's office violated the law by failing to notify LCPS of the student's arrest.
"We are writing to address what may be inaccurate information that was shared at the Board of Supervisors meeting on November 3," Ziegler wrote on Nov. 5. He noted that Col. Mark J. Poland of the sheriff's office "suggested that your offices notified the Loudoun County Public Schools of charges in the Stone Bridge High School sexual assault case."
One of the supervisors asked Poland if the Sheriff's office notified Loudoun County Public Schools when the individual was charged.
"To answer your question, they were notified. They were absolutely notified," Poland responded at the meeting.
Ziegler continued in his letter: "At this point, LCPS cannot confirm that we have received the required notification of charges from the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office regarding this case." He cited the Code of Virginia, which requires law enforcement to notify the superintendent.
In his responding letter, Chapman noted that the Code of Virginia requires law enforcement to report "offenses" and not "arrests."
"This offense was reported to the LCPS the day it occurred as evidenced by your email on May 28, 2021," Chapman wrote, referencing a letter in which Ziegler notified the school board about the incident.
Chapman also noted that the arrest did not occur on LCPS grounds, but at Juvenile Intake. When the arrest took place, the sheriff's office ensured that Jason Bickmore of the Loudoun County Juvenile Court Service Unit filed the report notifying LCPS of the arrest. Chapman noted that on Octo. 27, Bickmore told one of the sheriff's sergeants that he was "surprised" that LCPS had placed the offender in another school.
The Juvenile Court Service Unit did not immediately respond to Fox News' request to verify the filing of this report.
The Loudoun County Juvenile Court found the male student "not innocent" of charges of forcible sodomy and forcible fellatio in the May 28 incident. The same student pleaded "no contest" last week in a separate case to two charges of abduction and sexual battery involving the Oct. 6 incident. Parents have demanded that Ziegler resign over the incident, and incoming Gov. Glenn Youngkin has demanded resignations from Ziegler and the school board.
Neither Ziegler nor the school board responded to Fox News' requests for comment. Sheriff Chapman did not comment further on the situation.