The mother of a Virginia girl who was raped by a classmate inside a school bathroom reportedly said that she and her husband had been pressured to keep quiet about the incident — and had no clue the 15-year-old boy was then transferred to another school until last month.
“We were silenced for many months,” Jessica Smith told the Daily Mail in her first interview since her daughter was raped at Stone Bridge High School in Loudoun County in May. “We were told not to say a word that could jeopardize our daughter’s case.”
The boy was found guilty last month of the sexual attack, which sparked a heated confrontation between the victim’s father and school board members.
On Monday, the boy also pleaded no contest in connection with a second attack in an empty classroom in Broad Run High School, where he allegedly touched a girl on her chest and private parts.
The teen’s plea was part of a deal with prosecutors, with the boy accepting the conviction on abduction and sexual battery charges but not admitting guilt, according to ABC 7.
“When I learned there was a second victim, I was dumbfounded,” Smith told the Daily Mail this week. “I didn’t believe it because I was under the impression that he was at home with an ankle monitor, not at school.
“We felt like this was our responsibility, what happened to this second victim,” the mom continued as she became emotional.
“The pain that we had on May 28 came back. All the hurt, the anger, the frustration, everything came back. I felt so horribly for the second victim and her family. This should have never happened. They shouldn’t have put him back in school.”
Smith’s husband, Scott, was arrested at a June 22 school board meeting when he discussed their daughter’s rape and confronted officials. A video of his arrest went viral and made national headlines.
Critics have since called for the resignations of schools Superintendent Scott Ziegler and board members over their response to the sex assaults on campus, with Ziegler initially denying there had been any reports of attacks in any school bathrooms. Ziegler later apologized.
Smith said her family is planning to file a lawsuit against the district to hold school officials responsible.
“That’s the problem, that we were silenced. We were not allowed to go to rallies. We were not allowed to go to meetings with other groups. It didn’t matter what it was. Because we were under this microscope,” she told the outlet.
“This is not about politics. This is about sexual assault and how we need to make changes in our schools in order to protect victims, get them the help they need sooner, and believe them. And don’t allow a perpetrator back into another school,” she added.
Smith said she and her daughter attended the juvenile court hearing Monday in which the boy pleaded no contest.
“I made sure that he could not see her because the last time he did turn around and view her, which I felt was extreme intimidation,” she told the outlet.
“Our daughter did not have to be in court. She was there for the second victim to show support for her. Our daughter will stand tall, stay strong and get through this,” she said, adding that her daughter is receiving therapy.
The Post has reached out to the Loudon County school district for comment.