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Loudoun County father arrested at school board meeting wants court venue changed

Leesburg parent Scott Smith wants answers after two alleged sexual assaults at Loudoun County schools. (7News)
Leesburg parent Scott Smith wants answers after two alleged sexual assaults at Loudoun County schools. (7News)
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The father of a Loudoun County girl who was sexually assaulted at Stone Bridge High School filed two motions related to his charges for disorderly conduct arising out of the June 22nd school board meeting. Scott's daughter was assaulted in the girls' restroom on May 28 by a 14-year-old boy. Smith says he attended the board meeting looking for answers but during a heated exchange the 48-year-old was arrested.

Attorneys for Scott Smith filed motions for a change of venue out of Loudoun County Circuit Court and to remove Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj from handling his case.

MORE | Loudoun Co. schools leader, board members remain mum after parents call for resignations

"I did not intend to speak and did not sign up to speak at the meeting, but I was very concerned about what the School Board was considering, especially as it pertains to the safety of not only my daughter, but also the children of other parents as well. When the School Board abruptly ended the meeting, I was confronted and taunted by activists supporting the School Board’s bathroom policy. Despite being subjected to this unprovoked confrontation, I was unreasonably restrained by law enforcement, completely violating my constitutional rights. While some in the media have tried to impugn my character, I am not a domestic terrorist. I am a concerned father who loves his family and will protect them at every turn.”

RELATED | 'You guys failed': Talks of multiple sexual assaults dominate Loudoun school board meeting

The Smith family hired attorney Bill Stanley and The Stanley Law Group of Virginia to represent their daughter in her Title IX civil case against the Loudoun County School Board as well as Smith against what they called “wrongful and unconstitutional” charges filed against him.

In a statement, Stanley said:

“The incident has generated and continues to generate extensive and widespread publicity in the print and broadcast media. Such publicity has resulted in the dissemination of contradictory, inaccurate and inflammatory information about the Defendant and the circumstances and events of June 22, 2021 In fact, the Defendant has been accused of being a “domestic terrorist” by The National School Board Association (NSBA) in a letter to the President of the United States (dated September 29, 2021). Moreover, the Defendant’s daughter is the victim in a case currently pending in the Loudoun County Juvenile and Domestic District Court, which has also received a significant amount of publicity, both locally and nationwide. The incident has also sparked widespread public debate among local community groups, governmental agencies and the public about certain public policies adopted by the Virginia General Assembly, Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), and the Loudoun County School Board and administration. Such public debate has generated and continues to generate extensive attention in the local print and broadcast media and has been inextricably tied to the Defendant. The inaccurate and inflammatory nature of the publicity surrounding the June 22, 2021 incident has resulted in a strong bias against the Defendant in both the mainstream media and some local community groups, and has tainted prospective jurors to such a degree that the Defendant will not be able to receive a fair trial in this jurisdiction. The detrimental impact of the bias against the Defendant is compounded by the fact that his criminal case involves the Loudoun County Public Schools, of which a significant majority of school age children in the county attend, and whose parents will be a part of the potential jury pool.”

SEE ALSO: 'Handled poorly': Sex assault victim's father demands investigation of Loudoun schools

He continued:

“The Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Buta Biberaj, chose to handle the prosecution herself for these two misdemeanor charges [against Scott Smith at his original trial in the General District Court]. At the time of sentencing, Ms. Biberaj asked for an active jail sentence for the Defendant as part of his punishment,” apparently believing that Mr. Smith was a “domestic terrorist” who deserved jail time.

All the while, the Commonwealth’s Attorney was simultaneously prosecuting the student who raped Smith’s daughter at a Loudoun County High School. But, “despite the horrific assault upon the Defendant’s daughter, Biberaj permitted the assailant to be released from juvenile detention as the case proceeded. As Biberaj stated publicly: ‘He appeared to be a good candidate to be put on electronic monitoring based on the information that was provided.’ Subsequent to the Defendant’s daughter’s assailant being released, it is alleged that he abducted and sexually assaulted another female student at another Loudoun County public school. This subsequent sexual assault has garnered adverse publicity for the Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney. But while prosecuting Scott Smith’s daughter’s case, “Biberaj even suggested that there were two sides to the assault: ‘[W]e know what sometimes is reported initially is not then what the end result of all the facts are.’ This startling quote appears to be an intentional attempt to dimmish the credibility of the Defendant’s daughter.” Additionally, “Biberaj was also a member of “Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun,” a closed Facebook group where members doxxed opponents of the school division’s work to improve racial” and LBTQ/transgender equity.

The motion further stated: “Biberaj cannot possibly be impartial in prosecuting the Defendant’s appeal, since she is directly responsible for the release of the Defendant’s daughter’s assailant and has faced significant criticism for the decision, since the assailant allegedly sexually assaulted another young lady at another school after his release. The oddity of the top prosecutor at a Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office personally prosecuting a misdemeanor did not go unnoticed, as it was unusual for the elected Commonwealth’s Attorney to handle a misdemeanor charge in General District Court, but for the fact that the charges against Mr. Smith had gained notoriety and had been falsely equated as an act of “domestic terrorism.”

The recusal motion concluded: “It is reasonable to believe that some of Biberaj’s biases and predispositions would be present in [Scott Smith’s criminal case] since her involvement in the release of the Defendant’s daughter’s assailant only came to light after the assault garnered nationwide media attention. Allowing Biberaj to prosecute the Defendant for charges that come as a direct result to the sexual assault would be manifestly unjust to the Defendant and inhibit his right to a fair trial.”

MORE | Loudoun schools superintendent: We 'failed' to provide safe environment after assaults

Smith is not the only parent upset at the way the assaults have been handled. At Tuesday’s School Board meeting, parents voiced outrage, insisting that school officials have not been transparent about the sexual assaults at the schools.

One angry parent remarked, “How do you expect parents across this county to drop their children off at school and trust you all to keep them safe when you have shown on more than one occasion you are not up for the job?”

“We are committed to defending Scott Smith against these unjust criminal charges— charges that arose when he dared to challenge the Loudoun school board’s policies, and to warn other parents of the harm that could come to their children from them. And, we are equally committed to the protection and preservation of the rights of the Smith’s daughter that have been violated not only by the perpetrator, but also by the county in which she lives," Stanley stated.

Loudoun County Public Schools superintendent Dr. Scott Ziegler made a statement last week about the incident.

"First, let me say to the families and students involved — my heart aches for you and I am sorry that we failed to provide the safe, welcoming, and affirming environment that we aspire to provide," he said during a press conference. "We acknowledge and share in your pain and we will continue to offer support to help you and your families through this trauma. For all of our students, our school-based Unified Mental Health Teams are available to anyone who needs care."

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"We acknowledge and share in your pain and we will continue to offer support to help you and your families through this trauma. For all of our students, our school-based Unified Mental Health Teams are available to anyone who needs care," she added. "It is important to know that Title IX directs how schools must investigate allegations of sexual harassment/assault and provides equal protection for both victims and the alleged perpetrators."

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