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Ex-Loudoun County superintendent found guilty of crime rooted in a cover-up of a sexual assault

Sentencing for Ziegler will take place on January 4, 2024. 

Published: September 30, 2023 11:37am

Ex-Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Ziegler was found guilty by a jury on Friday for using his position as superintendent to retaliate against a teacher who cooperated with a grand jury to expose how the district covered up a sexual assault.

Ziegler was also acquitted by the jury of six women and one man of punishing someone for testifying to a grand jury. Both charges were misdemeanors. He could go to prison for a year, get a $2,500 fine, or both, according to The Daily Wire.

In October 2021, a 15-year-old student who identified as transgender was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting two female students at two separate high schools in the area.

According to local news station WUSA, the first assault was reported on May 28, 2021, at Stone Bridge High School, while another one allegedly occurred on Oct. 8 of that year at Broad Run High School.

The parent of one of the alleged victims was arrested at a school board meeting, where he shouted at officials for not doing more to protect his daughter.

Former special education teacher Erin Brooks was fired by Ziegler after she cooperated with investigators and disclosed another instance of mishandling of sexual assault by school administrators.

"Prosecutors laid out a devastating timeline of retaliation against Brooks, who was trying to get administrators to do something about the fact that a student with intellectual disabilities was grabbing the genitals of her and her teaching assistant Laurie Vandermeulen dozens of times a day, while making crude motions with his tongue," The Daily Wire reported. 

In opening arguments, Ziegler's defense attorney said she would prove that Brooks was actually fired for "invading the privacy of her student assailant." But, according to the outlet, she failed to produce evidence that any private information was shared or that any policy was violated. No witnesses were able to point to a policy that Brooks had violated.

Ziegler, who was wearing lipstick and nail polish but did not testify at the trial, claimed that he fired Brooks for giving private information to a conservative activist, which did not happen, according to the outlet, and to a grand jury. 

The prosecutors argued that it would be illegal to punish Brooks for cooperating with a special grand jury that had subpoenaed her.

Sentencing for Ziegler will take place on January 4, 2024. 

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