Loudoun County sexual assault coverage was biased -- on both sides

I don’t blame Smith for the misunderstanding; a parent who has just learned that his or her child has been sexually assaulted at school isn’t likely to tune in to the finer points of a conversation. The fact that the investigating school resource officer was a member of law enforcement and was (or would be) in contact with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office probably wasn’t made clear enough by the administrators but it sounds more like a series of miscommunications and misunderstandings in a stressful situation rather than an attempted cover-up, which is how The Daily Wire presented the story. This means the Wire deserves a huge amount of blame. It’s a reporter’s job to sort out such facts before publication, and an editor’s job to question if the framing is correct.

In addition, Rosiak’s account in the Wire clearly suggested that the skirt-wearing male student had entered the girls’ bathroom to lie in wait for victims to prey on (“a boy allegedly wearing a skirt entered a girls’ bathroom at nearby Stone Bridge High School, where he sexually assaulted Smith’s ninth-grade daughter”). Yet during the juvenile court trial, it was revealed that the male and female students knew each other and had a sexual relationship, and that she had invited him to meet her in the restroom, where they had had two prior consensual encounters.

It should go without saying that the students knowing each other and having had consensual sex before in no way excuses the male student, who the girl testified (and the judge found) assaulted the girl when she refused to perform the sexual acts he demanded. Nor does it diminish the assault. But it does provide context as to why the male student was in the women’s restroom. This completely changes the nature of the story.

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