Youngkin Pardons Loudoun Father Arrested for Defending Daughter
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has granted an absolute pardon to Scott Smith, the Loudoun County father who was arrested at a school board meeting in 2021. Smith was arrested after an argument with a school board member, and he was later convicted of disorderly conduct.
Youngkin said that Smith was wrongfully prosecuted and convicted, and that he was “standing up for his daughter who had been sexually assaulted by a boy who was allowed to transfer to another school after the first assault.”
The pardon says that in June 2021, Scott Smith “exercised his constitutional right to attend a public meeting of the Loudoun County School Board to observe the proceedings, during which time a community member threatened to spread false and malicious information about Mr. Smith’s business with the intent to damage his reputation.”
“After an ensuing verbal confrontation, Scott Thomas Smith was charged with Obstruction of Justice and Disorderly Conduct,” and Smith was quickly convicted, even though an appeals court later disqualified the prosecutor due to concerns about “the integrity of the prosecution,” the pardon continues.
“WHEREAS Scott Thomas Smith has been publicly and falsely accused of ‘domestic terrorism’ and ‘hate crimes’ for attempting to advocate for his daughter, a victim of sexual assault… I have decided it is just and appropriate to grant this ABSOLUTE PARDON that reflects Scott Thomas Smith’s factual innocence,” it concludes.
The pardon is a victory for parental rights advocates, who have been critical of the Loudoun County School Board’s handling of the sexual assault cases. The board has been accused of covering up the assaults and of failing to protect students.
“I’m thankful that the Youngkin administration gave me an off-ramp to these charges that never should have happened,” Smith told The Daily Wire. “It’s kind of bittersweet, because I really looked forward to winning this in court. But unfortunately, our justice system is so screwed up right now that I didn’t feel that I could potentially get a fair shot in court.”
“That’s what should scare every American–is that I had to take this, because I could not trust our justice system,” Smith said.
I’m pleased to grant Scott Smith a pardon. He is a dedicated Loudoun County father who was wrongfully prosecuted and convicted for standing up for his daughter at a 2021 Loudoun County School Board meeting after she was sexually assaulted at school. https://t.co/6dWf88U2b1 pic.twitter.com/WCEvciUfzT
— Governor Glenn Youngkin (@GovernorVA) September 10, 2023