In New Letter, Sheriff Indicates School Division Knowingly Placed Sexual Assailant Back in School

The Loudoun County Juvenile Court Service Unit notified the school division that a Stone Bridge High School student had been arrested on July 9 in connection allegations of rape of a fellow student, more than a month prior to the assailant being moved to Broad Run High School where he sexually assaulted a second schoolmate in October.

As questions arose surrounding the decision to allow the assailant to attend a different school after the teen had been found responsible for the May 28 sexual assault at Stone Bridge,animus has grown between the Sheriff’s Office and the school division.

A Nov. 10 letter from Sheriff Mike Chapman to Superintendent Scott Ziegler details an exchange between Sheriff’s Office and JCSU personnel in which officials decided was JCSU’s responsibility to notify the school division:

“Just prior to the July 9, 2021 arrest, case investigator Detective Czekaj of the LCSO Special Victims Unit, communicated with Mr. Jason Bickmore of the Loudoun County Juvenile Court Service Unit (JCSU). She asked if “we” (LCSO) should make the arrest notification to LCPS. Mr. Bickmore advised that LCSU would make the notification as it is their responsibility to do so. In a post-arrest conversation between Detective Czekaj and Mr. Bickmore, Mr. Bickmore confirmed that the notification was sent by letter to LCPS, which LCPS could disseminate for their safety purposes.”

The letter also indicates that Virginia law only requires notification by JCSU by mail. It is not clear whether there was also an email or phone call made to the superintendent’s office following the mailing of the notice.

Chapman also wrote that Bickmore had conversations about the assailant’s court order with Doug Fulton, the director of School Administration, and Dave Spage, the principal of Broad Run High School, in August.

The sheriff said that administrators placed the assailant in another school despite knowing the court-ordered disposition.

“If there were any lapses in communication directly to you throughout this process that impacted your decision making, it would seem it occurred within LCPS’ own administration,” the sheriff wrote. 

Ziegler issued a statement on Tuesday in response to the sheriff’s letter, citing a State Code provision that requires that law enforcement authorities to report to the superintendent offenses that would be considered a felony if the student were an adult.

“To date, Sheriff Chapman has not acknowledged the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office’s obligation to report offenses per this Code section,” he stated.

Ziegler previously told media representatives that the school district had followed Title IX reporting guidelines following the initial assault in May. The reporting protocol, he said, proved insufficient for addressing the situation.

“Local school divisions should have flexibility to provide greater protection measures including removing students completely from the student body when initial circumstance warrants it,” Ziegler told the School Board as it reviewed its 2022 legislative agenda in October.

However, Title IX permits a school division to remove a student prior to the conclusion of an investigation on an emergency basis. Ziegler said that the school division does not conduct its own investigation until law enforcement concludes its investigation.

9 thoughts on “In New Letter, Sheriff Indicates School Division Knowingly Placed Sexual Assailant Back in School

  • 2021-11-23 at 1:08 pm
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    Loudoun County is so fortunate to have Mike Chapman as our elected-by-the-people sheriff. If the Democrats had their way and they had a police chief toady to keep under their thumb, there is no telling what they keep from the public.

  • 2021-11-23 at 1:25 pm
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    I wish Sheriff Chapman would get off of Dr. Ziegler’s case. Sheriff Chapman failed miserably by not alerting the community of the rapist’s July 8 arrest. He tries to deflect attention away from that failure by harping on Dr. Ziegler. Also, Sheriff Chapman makes bold statements of which he has no proof or first-hand knowledge. Moreover, he has the audacity to repeatedly state Dr. Ziegler was aware of the offense on the day it happened. Dr. Ziegler may have been aware of allegations — but it was up to LCSO & others to pursue charges. And it took Sheriff Chapman FIVE weeks to do so. That’s outrageous! Sheriff Chapman, please get your own house in order before you throw brickbats at Dr. Ziegler.

    • 2021-11-24 at 9:14 pm
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      Once again, you have your facts wrong, but that never seems to stop you from commenting and exonerating the LCSB of every one of their horrendous actions or inactions. It is not the Sheriff’s job to “alert the community” about a 14 year old who was supposed to be monitored and dealt with by the LCSB while the Sheriff’s office investigated the crime. The Sheriff’s office is not going to go public with an investigation when it is not complete. What if the boy turned out to be innocent and they had publicized the incidents?
      Dr. Ziegler is at fault here- completely. He and his staff dropped the ball and ignored what happened and tried to pass the rapist to another school. Ask David Spage how he feels about this situation and I’ll tell you he is very angry with Ziegler and his staff for sending a problem to Broad Run that Spage didn’t sign up for.

    • 2021-11-24 at 9:27 pm
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      The Loudoun County Juvenile Court Service Unit notified the school division that a Stone Bridge High School student had been arrested on July 9 in connection allegations of rape of a fellow student, more than a month prior to the assailant being moved to Broad Run High School where he sexually assaulted a second schoolmate in October.

      “Just prior to the July 9, 2021 arrest, case investigator Detective Czekaj of the LCSO Special Victims Unit, communicated with Mr. Jason Bickmore of the Loudoun County Juvenile Court Service Unit (JCSU). She asked if “we” (LCSO) should make the arrest notification to LCPS. Mr. Bickmore advised that LCSU would make the notification as it is their responsibility to do so. In a post-arrest conversation between Detective Czekaj and Mr. Bickmore, Mr. Bickmore confirmed that the notification was sent by letter to LCPS, which LCPS could disseminate for their safety purposes.”

      Chapman also wrote that Bickmore had conversations about the assailant’s court order with Doug Fulton, the director of School Administration, and Dave Spage, the principal of Broad Run High School, in August.

      The sheriff said that administrators placed the assailant in another school despite knowing the court-ordered disposition.

      “If there were any lapses in communication directly to you throughout this process that impacted your decision making, it would seem it occurred within LCPS’ own administration,” the sheriff wrote.

      Tim Smith — these facts absolutely destroy your biased statement. In July there was no school. In December 2020/January 2021 there was a mass exodus of senior LCPS administrators (Superintendent, Chief of Staff, Director of Communications, and Director of School Administration). That is damning to this current school board and to LCPS. Sheriff Chapman didn’t retire — he was REELECTED. Show some respect.

      LCPS was notified by JCSU and even Doug Fulton was aware of it. Fulton was the guy that said “respondents” were, “innocent until proven guilty” at the August Discipline Committee meeting when I spoke up about LCPS Policy 8035 not protecting the victims and instead protecting the “respondents” by creating an atmosphere that made victims not feel safe to speak. The rapist/respondent was GUILTY (as well as arrested), yet returned to another school. LCPS has full liability of that disaster and owes the families of the assault victims a HUGE apology and more. LCSO deals with adults, Juvenile Court deals with minors. Those are the facts — your polarized spin is not appreciated. Assault victims have rights too. The community does not enable predators, nor do I.

  • 2021-11-23 at 4:10 pm
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    Wait, is the same sheriff that did TV ads for Youngkin, refused requests for protections at school board meetings, and has done absolutely nothing about the serious, credible, and continuous death threats against school board members and their families? THAT sheriff?

    • 2021-11-24 at 11:11 am
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      Chapman is doing his job investigating the rapes facilitated by irresponsible school board policies. The school system has the responsibility to remove the student from the schools and protect other students from this predator. The school board FAILED and then covered up their complicity.
      Blaming Chapman is typical leftist deflection from the their own culpability.

    • 2021-11-24 at 4:26 pm
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      So is it your position that the LCSB is a victim of political attacks? And those attacks are coming from the LCS whose office is under attack from the BOS for political reasons? The same BOS that is trying to wrestle control of the LC Libraries for obvious political reasons.

  • 2021-11-23 at 4:19 pm
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    Ziegler must resign immediately as should the leaders in the LCPS administration. Not only did they put students in jeopardy, they lied in front of parents during the school board meeting.

  • 2021-11-24 at 8:57 am
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    Thank goodness we have an honorable sheriff who is focused on safety. Because LCPS couldn’t care less. It is beyond obvious that both Ziegler and Chief of Staff Smith VIOLATED Title IX by showing deliberate indifference to the safety of these students. They knew that a rapist was turned loose on unsuspecting prey. LCPS could have monitored him (like a SpEd student with an adult chaperone) or simply removed him from the school under very clear Title IX rules.

    It is unfortunate that the pedophile protectors Atoosa Reaser and Brenda Sheridan cannot be put in jail for this. Same goes for Ziegler and Smith.

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