Loudoun County Public Schools on Wednesday issued a statement responding to reports of an alleged sexual assault at Ashburn’s Stone Bridge High School on May 28, which had not previously been made public.
The revelation comes less than a week after a 15-year-old male student at Broad Run High School — also in Ashburn — was charged with sexual battery and abduction of another student, according to an LCSO incident report.
The May 28 incident was first reported by The Daily Wire.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the LCSO would not confirm if the suspects in the two cases are the same person.
“LCPS takes student privacy seriously and cannot reveal details concerning the actions of any specific student,” school officials said in the statement. The statement says principals are legally required to report to law enforcement any act that may constitute a felony offense — including sexual assault — under Virginia Code § 22.1-279.3:1. School officials said they followed the reporting law.
“Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office was contacted within minutes of receiving the initial report on May 28,” LCPS officials wrote, referring to the alleged incident at Stone Bridge. “Once a matter has been reported to law enforcement, LCPS does not begin its investigation until law enforcement advises LCPS that it has completed the criminal investigation.”
The statement said law enforcement officials requested LCPS not interview students until after their investigation was concluded, and that the school district cooperated with and continues to cooperate with law enforcement.
A LCSO spokesperson confirmed to the Times-Mirror Tuesday evening that a sexual assault had been reported on May 28 at Stone Bridge High School and that the investigation lasted two months.
During Tuesday night’s school board meeting, numerous Loudoun residents called for the resignation of LCPS superintendent Scott Ziegler and board members whom they said failed to protect students.
“All of you need to step down immediately,” Blue Ridge District resident Anne Miller said, addressing Ziegler and members of the school board. “You recklessly endangered the children of this county ... Remove the superintendent immediately, and then resign for your negligence and duplicity.”
LCPS officials, in an effort to maintain the student suspect’s due process in the alleged May 28 sexual assault, said school board members were not made aware of the incident until it was reported in the media earlier this week.
In response to an inquiry by the Times-Mirror asking why the Oct. 6 incident was publicly reported while the May 28 incident — which the sheriff’s office on Wednesday said consisted of two counts of forcible sodomy — was not, a sheriff’s office spokesperson wrote in an email that the two cases were fundamentally different.
“The May 28, 2021 case involved a different set of circumstances and a thorough 2-month-long investigation was conducted to determine the facts of the case prior to arrest,” the spokesperson wrote. “This case is still pending court proceedings.”
The spokesperson added that “Juvenile reports are excluded from disclosure pursuant to Virginia Code §16.1-301 and Criminal history information is exempt under Virginia Code §19.2-389.”
Several members of the Loudoun County School Board took to social media to issue similar statements shortly before LCPS published its announcement.
Blue Ridge District representative Ian Serotkin wrote in a post published on his Facebook page that “Schools are prohibited from disciplining a student without following the Title IX grievance process, which includes investigating formal complaints of sexual harassment.”
Serotkin added in his statement that LCPS does implement interim measures to protect the safety of students involved in a reported incident, as well as to deter retaliation and preserve the integrity of an ensuing investigation.
“LCPS has complied and continues to comply with its obligations under Title IX,” he said, mirroring the statement later published by LCPS.