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Teen pleads no contest in second Loudoun County schools sex crime case

Outside the Loudoun County courthouse. (Scott Taylor/7News){p}{/p}
Outside the Loudoun County courthouse. (Scott Taylor/7News)

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A teen charged in two sex crimes inside Loudoun County high schools has reached a plea deal with prosecutors in the second case. The 15-year-old, who was charged in an Oct. 6 sexual incident inside a Broad Run High School classroom, pleaded no contest to abduction and sexual battery on Monday. Pleading no contests means the teen accepted the conviction but avoided actually admitting guilt in the case.

RELATED | Loudoun County assault victim's dad wants an apology for being called 'domestic terrorist'

Loudoun County Commonwealth Attorney Buta Biberaj said in this case the teen basically forced a girl into an empty classroom and touched her chest, her private area, without her consent. But clarified that the teen was not charged with rape, despite what some reports said.

“What do you think obtaining a plea deal, in this case, means to the victim and the victim’s family?” asks 7 News Investigative Reporter Scott Taylor.

“They were involved, and we worked with them very closely through this whole process and every step of it and they are on board and also contributed to the thought process of what should occur,” said Biberaj.

READ ALSO: Teen suspect found guilty in Loudoun County school bathroom assault

This is the second conviction for this teen who earlier this year was found guilty of a sex assault involving another female student in a bathroom at Stone Bridge High School just two and half miles away from Broad Run that occurred in May.

Loudoun County Public School District officials tell the 7 News I-Team it was following state and federal guidelines when it moved the suspect away from Stone Bridge after the first attack and enrolled him into Broad Run High School during the Sheriff’s investigation where months later the second incident occurred.

“The maximum the court can give him is to place him in a Department of Juvenile Justice, which is a state prison for juveniles, up to his 21st birthday,” says Biberaj.

The I-Team spoke to the teen suspect’s mother who told 7 News I-Team Reporter Scott Taylor “My son is young and has a lot to learn. I hope he is given the opportunity to be better.”

A hearing will take place on Dec. 13 to determine sentencing in both cases.

Parents were outraged by how the school system handled reporting the cases to the community and how they are addressing school safety.

SEE ALSO | How the Loudoun County school board & parent drama has had national consequences

Scott Smith, the father of the Stone Bridge High victim, was arrested at a June 22 school board meeting after a heated exchange. Smith told 7News he went to the meeting looking for answers.

“I went to that school board meeting because my daughter had been sexually assaulted a few weeks prior," said Scott Smith. "I never been to a school board meeting before I only seen it on TV. I wanted to see what all the nonsense was about that I had seen and reading about. I wanted to see it in real life because my family has unfortunately been pulled into this nightmare."

Following the second conviction, Jessica Smith, the mother of the first victim released this statement

"Today is not just another day for our family. It is a day that further vindicates my daughter against her attacker, holds him accountable for what he did, and helps advance the healing of both our daughter and our family from the suffering we have endured over these past months.

We are grateful for the efforts of prosecutor Barry Zweig, and for those Loudoun County Public School parents who have supported us during these trying times. We know today that justice has prevailed for both our daughter and the other innocent child attacked by this predator.

My daughter’s struggle, and that of our family, still continues. We will not stop, we will not rest, until all who are responsible for this tragedy are held accountable.

Today’s court ruling is not the end to this story. My husband and I, along with our daughter, will continue to fight for what is both right and just in our Title IX lawsuit against the Loudoun County School Board, so that no child, and no parent, will ever have to suffer what we have as a result of the misguided policies of our local government officials.

What we have been going through should be a lesson for parents across the Commonwealth. And, it should also serve as a call to action for all parents like us to stand up against local school boards that don’t put parents and their children first.

Both Scott and I are committed, as parents, to fight for our daughter, to fight for our neighbors, and to fight for the children of Virginia who attend our public schools.

We will not rest until every child in our public schools knows that they are safe, and that their parents know that when they put their child on the school bus each morning, they will never endure the pain and suffering that we have.”

SEE ALSO: 'Shame on you': Parents demand resignations, firings at Loudoun Co. school board meeting

Parents have called on the firing of Loudoun County's superintendent Dr. Scott Ziegler and the resignations of school board members.

They pleaded for safety and accountability at a recent school board meeting.

“You have failed our students,” one speaker said.

“I don’t trust you to ensure the education or safety of my daughter,” said another.

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