The skirt-wearing Virginia schoolboy who avoided jail after sexually assaulting two classmates has now won a legal battle to stay off the sex offenders registry — a move slammed as “horrific” by the father of one of his young victims.
The 15-year-old boy, who has not been identified because he is a minor, was initially ordered to register for life when he was sent to a residential treatment facility at his sentencing in Loudoun County on Jan. 12.
Judge Pamela Brooks said she had never before made such an order in a juvenile case — but was doing so because the teen’s psychological evaluations “scared me for society.”
But the judge reversed that decision at a hearing on Thursday after an appeal by the boy’s trio of attorneys, including one who is an elected member of Loudoun County’s Board of Supervisors, WTOP said.
Defense attorneys argued that prosecutors failed to provide a written motion that they were seeking to place him on the registry, and argued that it was punishment rather than rehabilitation, WTOP said.
However, prosecutors still pushed to register the troubled teen, who is only being held in a residential treatment facility until his 18th birthday.
Doing so would help “keep the community safe,” Commonwealth Attorney Buta Biberaj told the hearing, according to WTOP.
The prosecutor noted how the attacker was wearing an ankle monitor in October during his second attack, which was at a school he’d been transferred to after first striking five months earlier. Both victims were just 15.
The attacker had been just 14 during the first attack, but Biberaj said she couldn’t “rest” on assuming it was because of his “immaturity.”
She also insisted that public safety came ahead of any consequences being registered would have on the boy’s future job prospects. “Will it stifle his successes? Very possibly,” she had said, still calling for the registration until the attacker was at least 30.
The judge’s decision to now rule against the registry was met with outrage outside of the court by Scott Smith, the father of the first victim who was previously arrested at a school board while protesting the secretive handling of his daughter’s case.
“What happened today was horrific,” Smith told WUSA9 outside court.
“Hopefully he doesn’t offend again. If he does, it’s not on me — it’s on them. I fought to the bitter end for this,” he seethed.
“This was a safety measure for everyone. In all states — not Virginia, not Leesburg, [but] wherever he may go,” said Smith, whose arrest was used as an example of unruly parents who were likened to domestic terrorists.
He also told DailyMail.com that his family was “not just heartbroken” but “quite frankly mad.”
“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,” he said.
One of the boy’s attorneys, William Mann, insisted to WUSA9 that the judge “correctly followed the law.”
Loudoun County’s school district confirmed last week that an independent investigation into the handling of the sex assaults had been completed — but said it was not going to be made public.
At the same time, Chief of Staff Mark Smith lost his job amid calls for other high-ranking officials to also be axed.