The 15-year-old male student found guilty of sexually assaulting two girls in Loudoun County, Virginia, will not have to register as a sex offender.
According to WTOP-TV, the boy was convicted of two separate sexual assaults at two different schools.
The first occurred in May at Stone Bridge High School. In that incident, the boy was wearing a skirt and entered a girls’ bathroom.
He was then transferred to Broad Run High School while awaiting trial. In October, he forced a girl into an empty classroom and touched her inappropriately, WTOP reported.
Judge Pamela Brooks placed the boy on probation on Jan. 12 and ordered him to a juvenile rehabilitation center until his 18th birthday. In addition, Brooks ruled the boy should be registered as a sex offender for his crimes.
Brooks said her sentencing decision was based in part on her review of the boys’ psychological evaluation.
“It scared me,” she said of the evaluation. “It scared me for you. It scared me for society.”
However, the boy’s legal team argued that he should not be placed on the sex offender registry because the prosecution did not submit a motion requesting it.
On Thursday, Brooks agreed to drop the request for the boy to be added to the registry.
Should this boy be placed on the sex offender registry?
Yes: 100% (27 Votes)
No: 0% (0 Votes)
Scott Smith, the father of the boys’ victim at Stone Bridge High School, railed against the decision and said the boy was essentially getting a free pass due to a technicality.
“My wife and I are not just heartbroken about today’s ruling, we are quite frankly mad at how the justice system and the Loudoun Commonwealth’s attorney have let down both our daughter, as well as the other victims of his predatory actions,” he said in a statement, according to WWBT-TV.
“The person who committed these horrible crimes against these young women will now, due to the errors of the county prosecutor, not have to bear the permanent shame at being known as a lifetime registered sex offender, as he had been originally sentenced. We are now concerned, more than ever, that this change in his legal status may put other parents’ daughters at risk of physical harm in the future.
“Despite today’s ruling, we continue to be committed to making sure that justice prevails in our daughter’s case, both now and in the future,” Smith said.
Smith’s concern is certainly merited given this boy’s history. He was already given a second chance when he was transferred to another school, and he decided to commit another heinous crime against a young girl.
While this decision is likely thrilling for the boy, it is a terrifying predicament for the other students and parents of Loudoun County schools.
Anyone who sexually assaults two girls deserves to be on the sex offender list regardless of age. While such a designation would certainly affect the boy for the rest of his life, that is the consequence of his own actions.
Furthermore, there is an argument to be made that the boy was given a sweetheart deal for reasons that are at least partly political. After he committed his first crime while wearing a skirt in a girls’ bathroom, Loudoun County Public Schools allegedly covered the incident up and voted to allow transgender students to use the restrooms of their choice.
In a November interview with the U.K.’s Daily Mail regarding the first sexual assault, the boy’s mother said he does not identify as transgender.
“He’s a 15-year-old boy that wanted to have sex in the bathroom with somebody that was willing,” she said. “They’re twisting this just enough to make it a political hot-button issue.”
The boy identifies as “pansexual,” but his mother characterized his actions as those of a confused teenager.
“He would wear a skirt one day and then the next day he would wear jeans and a T-shirt, a Polo or hoodie,” she said. “He was trying to find himself and that involved all kinds of styles. I believe he was doing it because it gave him attention he desperately needed and sought.”
In any case, Loudoun County’s decision to allow boys to use girls’ restrooms has created a situation in which this kind of crime is possible. Those defending the boy may also be attempting to spare the school district from scrutiny over its own mistakes.