The 15-year-old “boy in a skirt” who sexually assaulted two classmates in different Loudoun County, Virginia, high schools will be sent to a juvenile treatment facility after the parents of one of his victims asked a judge to get him help rather than incarcerate him. He will also be registered as a sex offender.
The teen — who is not identified in news reports because he is a minor — was found responsible for one felony count of forcible sodomy and one felony count of forcible fellatio in a May 28 incident at Stone Bridge High School, in Ashburn. The teen was also found responsible for a felony count of abduction and a misdemeanor count of sexual battery in a second assault with a different victim at Broad Run High School on Oct. 6, WTOP-TV reported.
The first victim was the teenage daughter of Scott and Jessica Smith. Scott Smith was arrested during a raucous June 22 school board meeting and charged with disorderly conduct after school officials denied receiving reports of sexual assaults occurring in school bathrooms, even though the board was aware that Smith’s daughter had been assaulted in the girls’ room just weeks before. At the time the school board was debating the adoption of a policy that would permit transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice. Parents argued this policy could endanger students, while school officials denied that was true. The incident became a cultural and political flashpoint as control of schools became an issue 2021 Virginia gubernatorial election.
The Smith family gave statements at a disposition hearing — the juvenile equivalent of a sentencing hearing — asking Loudoun County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court Chief Judge Pamela Brooks to send him to receive psychological treatment rather than lock him up in jail.
Smith’s daughter, now 16, took the stand and addressed the defendant by name, telling him, “I’m still here. I believe you belong in a program, even though you took advantage of me.”
Her mother also gave a statement asking the judge to place the defendant in a long-term residential facility where he can get help to reform.
“I feel that if this boy goes directly to juvenile jail, he will not receive any treatment,” Jessica Smith said, according to the Daily Mail.
“I feel if he is placed in a long-term residential, he might have a fighting chance of becoming a better human being,” she told the judge.
During his statement, Scott Smith said, “You voluntarily took what you wanted. That makes you a dangerous animal. Dangerous animals deserve to be caged, sometimes even put down.”
According to WTOP, when he said that, the defendant’s mother, who was in the courtroom, began shaking uncontrollably.
But Smith ended his remarks by telling the defendant, “You could change.”
“I don’t believe that you’re a monster. I thought you looked like a monster, but you really don’t.” He said that when he was a teenager he had been sent to a residential facility, without giving further details.
“Please, dude — do the right thing, man. I can see in your eyes, you know you did wrong,” he told the defendant.
Before the judge handed down his sentence, the defendant was permitted to make a statement.
“In my time here, I’ve probably thought about this more than I’ve ever thought about anything in my life. I hurt people in this courtroom. Until I heard the witness testimony, I didn’t realize how much I hurt them. I would like to sincerely apologize to the court, the families, the victims,” he said.
“I will never do anything like that again, or hurt anyone like this again.”
Ahead of sentencing, the judge was given the results of a psychological evaluation of the defendant. This evaluation tests a person’s sexual interests to see if there is any deviation from what’s considered generally acceptable behavior and assesses the risk of a future re-offense.
“This court has dealt with juvenile sexual assaults before; it’s sadly more common than people outside the system realize,” Brooks said, according to WTOP.
After reviewing the reports prepared for her, Brooks told the defendant, “Yours scares me. What I read scares me for yourself, your family and society in general. Young man, you need a lot of help.” She told him he is at high risk for re-offending.
“Even though your lawyer argues this was consensual,” Brooks said, “when someone says yes one day it doesn’t mean they say yes every day. No means no. You exhibited predatory behavior.”
“I hope when you come out, you come out as a healthy, functioning individual. I’m not sending you to the Department of Juvenile Justice. That would not serve any purpose for you, the commonwealth, or the community,” she said.
She ordered the defendant to have no contact with the victims or their families, then announced, “This judge has never made this order before: I am ordering you onto the sex offender registry.”
The defendant will return to court in July 2024, when he turns 18 and his probation will end.