The parents of a Loudoun County school sexual assault victim worked to keep the teen attacker out of jail — instead opting for official sex offender status and treatment, but a Virginia judge Thursday ruled the juvenile offender will no longer have to register as a sex offender due to a ruling technicality.
The teenager will be held in a "residential program" at a psychiatric facility, however.
"The decision is horrific," Scott Smith, father to one of two victims, told WJLA. "I mean what is not disclosed in his sexual evaluation and his physical evaluation that scared the judge to the point that she ordered him on the sexual registry the first time. That should be enough the first time that it scared a judge enough to order that."
Smith had told Newsmax's "Eric Bolling: The Balance" this month he believed jail time would be too brief and not correct his daughter's attacker's future behavior, instead urging prosecutors to issue a sentence for a residential sexual rehabilitation program as long as he would have to register as a sex offender.
But Loudoun County Judge Pamela Brooks granted the defense's request to drop the sex offender portion of his sentence during a hearing Thursday, saying she made a mistake by accepting an oral and not written motion, according to WJLA.
"My wife and I are not just heartbroken about today's ruling, we are quite frankly mad at how the justice system and the Loudoun Commonwealth's attorney has let down both our daughter, as well as the other victims of his predatory actions," the Smith family wrote in a statement to the TV station. "The person who committed these horrible crimes against these three young women will not have to bear the shame at being known as a lifetime registered sex offender, as he was originally sentenced.
"Rather, we are now concerned more than ever that this change in his legal status may put other parents' daughters at risk of harm in the future."
The teen was convicted of assaulting Smith's daughter in the girls' bathroom at Stone Bridge High School in Loudoun County. He was allowed to transfer to another high school, where he committed a second assault.
The handling of the assaults led to allegations the school board was covering up the assaults while working to pass a transgender bathroom policy. The teen boy was wearing a skirt at the time he entered the girls' bathroom where the first assault took place.
Smith's case rose to national news when he was arrested at a Loudoun County School Board meeting, having been angered by the board's handling of his daughter's assault and a woman telling him she did not believe his daughter was raped.
He was speaking out against the school board's planned transgender bathroom policy and was arrested and convicted of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
New Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares has vowed to investigate the case.
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