Saturday 7 October 2023

Female student who was sexually assaulted by skirt-wearing male classmate in girls’ restroom sues Virginia school district

 A female student who was sexually assaulted by a skirt-wearing male classmate in the girls’ restroom in 2021 is suing a Virginia school district for allegedly attempting to cover up the attack, court documents obtained by WJLA revealed.

The now-17-year-old female, referred to only as Jane Doe in court documents, filed a lawsuit through her parents against Loudoun County Public Schools on Wednesday. 

The sexual assault occurred at Stone Bridge High School in May 2021. According to Doe, she was in the girls’ restroom at school when she was attacked by a biological male student who claimed to identify as “non-binary” and was wearing a skirt.

Doe’s lawsuit stated that she reported the attack to the school; however, school administrators insisted on handling the investigation in-house and refused to report the attack to local law enforcement.

Doe’s father, Scott Smith, was detained and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after protesting at a June 2021 school board meeting. 

At the meeting, district officials “denied that a sexual assault had ever taken place in a bathroom in any of their schools,” the lawsuit stated. Then-Superintendent Scott Ziegler claimed that he was “unaware of the sexual assault, despite the fact that Loudoun County Sheriff’s office conducted a two-month investigation into the assault,” the complaint stated. 

Smith was pardoned last month by Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin.

In October 2021, the attacker was convicted of raping the 15-year-old female student.

Doe and her parents are seeking $30 million in compensatory damages from the district. The lawsuit claimed the district failed to complete a timely investigation and “even endeavored to cover up said incident.”

“As a result of LCPS’s failure to take meaningful and appropriate action to address her sexual assault and protect her from further threats and assault, Jane Doe struggled academically, emotionally, and physically for the remainder of the school year,” it stated. “She continues to struggle significantly with the aftermath of the sexual assault and the school’s failure to take appropriate action to help her and protect her while she still was attending Loudoun County Public Schools.”

Smith told WJLA, “It’s been a very long two and a half years for my family to get here. We have put together a very strong Title IX lawsuit that we hope sets precedence across the nation to protect children and hold school districts accountable.” 

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