Loudoun County says it is withholding sexual assault investigation report to avoid ‘re-traumatizing’ victims

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The Loudoun County School Board on Friday outlined a series of measures to prevent future sexual assaults and said releasing the results of its recent investigation would be illegal and risk re-traumatizing those involved.

Earlier this week, a judge sentenced a Loudoun County teenager accused of sexual assault at two separate high schools. The judge found the boy guilty on Wednesday and ordered him to register as a sex offender, something she said she had never done to a minor before. He will be on supervised probation until his 18th birthday and placed in a residential treatment facility.

“First and foremost, the report cannot be released because the privacy of the families involved must be protected,” read a school board press release on Friday, referring to the conclusion of an investigation into the way which he dealt with the two high-profile allegations.

“The national interest in this investigation would preclude any chance of allowing families to heal in private and move forward with dignity. The Division and our council believe that we must do all we can to avoid re-traumatizing students and the families involved in the incidents. In addition, the Division is legally obligated to protect student confidentiality. This decision was also based on the advice of legal counsel, who determined that the report falls within the protection of the attorney-client privilege.

LOUDOUN COUNTY SCHOOLS WILL NOT RELEASE REPORT ON INVESTIGATION INTO HANDLING OF SEXUAL ASSAULT ALLEGATIONS

Loudoun County School Board members vote to enact Policy 8040 during a school board meeting at the Loudoun County Public Schools Administration Building on August 11, 2021 in Ashburn, Virginia.
(Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

Fox News Digital noted Thursday that the school district refused to release the report — a move that will likely provoke further criticism as some, including the county sheriff, have accused the district of wrongdoing.

So far, Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) has appointed a new interim Title IX coordinator and provided additional mandatory training “regarding the timely reporting of disciplinary data to the Virginia Department of Education,” according to the press release.

People gather to protest a range of issues including the council's handling of a sexual assault that happened in a school toilet in May, vaccination mandates and critical race theory at a council meeting Loudoun County School in Ashburn, Virginia, U.S., Oct. 26, 2021.

People gather to protest a range of issues including the council’s handling of a sexual assault that happened in a school toilet in May, vaccination mandates and critical race theory at a council meeting Loudoun County School in Ashburn, Virginia, U.S., Oct. 26, 2021.
(REUTERS/Lea Millis)

The release added that it would “expand the size and scope of the Title IX office by hiring a full-time Title IX coordinator and additional investigative staff to increase capacity to handle allegations and complaints; conduct a senior management level review of each potential harassment and discrimination complaint filed in the last 12 months to ensure that all Title IX processes were followed and complaints were handled appropriately and take corrective action where appropriate; and provide additional mandatory training to all school administrators to reinforce understanding of their obligations regarding allegations of sexual harassment and assault.”

Ian Prior, who runs Fight for Schools PAC, told Fox News that these measures were too late.

“They are certainly needed, but why hasn’t this been done before? asked Prior, who is a father of Loudoun and a former Trump administration official.

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“They spent all this time focusing on replacing equality and meritocracy with ‘fairness’, books of pornography in the library and open toilets, not making sure the students were there. safe from sexual assault.”

Prior was referring to school district equity trainings and other materials that were part of a raging debate about critical race theory in the county and across the United States.

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