Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin has granted an absolute pardon to Scott Smith, the Loudoun County father who was wrongfully prosecuted and convicted for standing up for his daughter at a 2021 Loudoun County School Board meeting after she was sexually assaulted at school.
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“I spoke with Mr. Smith on Friday, and I had the privilege of telling Mr. Smith that I will pardon him, and we did that on Friday,” Youngkin said. “We righted a wrong. He should’ve never been prosecuted here. This was a dad standing up for his daughter.”
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Smith’s daughter was sexually assaulted by a biological male wearing a dress inside a school bathroom. The school covered up the crime.
“Scott Smith is a dedicated parent who’s faced unwarranted charges in his pursuit to protect his daughter. Scott’s commitment to his child despite the immense obstacles is emblematic of the parental empowerment movement that started in Virginia,” Youngkin said. “In Virginia, parents matter and my resolve to empower parents is unwavering. A parent’s fundamental right to be involved in their child’s education, upbringing, and care should never be undermined by bureaucracy, school divisions or the state. I am pleased to grant Scott Smith this pardon and help him and his family put this injustice behind them once and for all.”
In his commitment to the parents and students of Loudoun County, the Governor issued an executive order on his first day in office to initiate an investigation into the sexual assaults in Loudoun County.
Following the Attorney General’s incriminating investigation into the sexual assault cover-up, Superintendent Ziegler has been fired. Under Governor Youngkin’s leadership and actions, Loudoun County parents are getting the accountability and transparency they deserve.
Smith released the following statement through his attorneys:
“What happened to my daughter was a horrible, but preventable tragedy that she will have to deal with for the rest of her life. And the way the public school system, the School Board, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and SRO Department, and the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office handled this situation was abhorrent and completely unacceptable. My family has been living a nightmare that no family in America should have to endure. But rather than sit quietly and take it, I decided to stand up against the government – and for that I was branded a “domestic terrorist” and charged with crimes that I did not commit. I want to thank Governor Youngkin for his declaration that I am innocent, and for his absolute and unconditional pardon. While I was extremely confident in my lawyers’ abilities to defend me in court, I am grateful that the Governor recognizes that our justice system has been both weaponized and politicized to the point where my ability to receive a fair trial was in jeopardy. And while this pardon closes one chapter in this ongoing battle, a new chapter has now begun. I will continue to fight for parents and their children who are affected by these misguided and dangerous school policies. My family intends to pursue legal action in the federal courts to hold the Loudoun County public school system accountable for putting its own interests above the safety of both my daughter the families and communities that it was supposed to serve, and I also intend to pursue other legal remedies in order to hold those elected county officials who pursued this malicious prosecution of me accountable for their malfeasance. And, let me be clear. I am not a ‘domestic terrorist,’ I am just a father who will go to the ends of the earth to protect his daughter. I will not ever give up in that endeavor until my family is both protected and fully vindicated.”