A high school student in Loudoun County, Virginia, who was charged with sexually assaulting a female at one school is accused of groping another at a different school.
The first alleged incident happened in May at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, and the second is said to have occurred this month at Broad Run High School.
According to parents at a heated board meeting on Tuesday, the suspect was allowed to transfer to Broad Run amid the first case. Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj told WTOP News that the same teen has been charged in both incidents.
The Attorney’s Office did not respond to requests for comment and the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office declined to confirm the suspect is the same in both cases.
WTOP News reported that the teen was on electronic monitoring at the time of the second incident. NBC News has not been able to verify this information.
The Sheriff's Office said in a press release Wednesday that it had been alerted to the first assault on May 28 by a school staff member and launched a "thorough investigation and evidentiary analysis" into the allegations.
"Once the elements of a crime were determined, on July 8, 2021, a 14-year-old male was arrested in the case with two counts of forcible sodomy," the sheriff's office said of the first incident.
After the boy's arrest, the case was turned over to Biberaj’s office to determine if he should be held in a juvenile detention center or released, according to police.
Biberaj told WTOP that prosecutors have 21 days from the time a juvenile is charged and detained to either adjudicate the case or release the suspect.
“When 21 days was about to expire, we hadn’t gotten the DNA analysis — and it was necessary to have that to establish one of the charges. So, we had to either try it without the DNA and run the risk of not making that case, or ask the court for additional time,” Biberaj told the news station.
A judge ordered that the teen be placed on electronic monitoring and to check in with a probation officer, Biberaj told WTOP.
The case remains pending in court.
The second alleged assault occurred on Oct. 6, the sheriff's office said in a separate press release.
"The investigation determined on the afternoon of October 6, the 15-year-old suspect forced the victim into an empty classroom where he held her against her will and inappropriately touched her," authorities said. "The victim immediately reported the incident to a Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officer."
The teen was arrested and charged with sexual battery and abduction in that case. He was being held at a county juvenile detention center, but it's not clear if he has been released.
The sheriff's office declined to confirm whether the teen is the same suspect in both incidents. Police have not released any names because both cases involve juveniles.
A spokesperson for Loudoun County Public Schools declined to comment Thursday on claims that the two incidents involve the same suspect. The spokesperson also declined to comment on reports that the teen was wearing an ankle monitor at the time of the second alleged assault in October.
In a statement, the district said it cannot reveal details about any specific student because of privacy laws, but said principals are legally required to report any offense, including a sexual assault, that may constitute a felony.
"Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office was contacted within minutes of receiving the initial report on May 28. Once a matter has been reported to law enforcement, LCPS does not begin its investigation until law enforcement advises LCPS that it has completed the criminal investigation," Loudoun County Public Schools said.
"To maintain the integrity of the criminal investigation, law enforcement requested that LCPS not interview students until their investigation is concluded. LCPS has cooperated and continues to cooperate with law enforcement."
The district went on to say that it cannot discipline any student without following a grievance process that includes an investigation but can "impose interim measures to protect the safety of students involved in the original incident."
The district's handling of the two alleged incidents sparked a contentious debate at Tuesday's board meeting.
"This board bans parents from the admin building for not wearing a mask, but a student accused of raping a classmate was allowed to continue attending our children’s schools," one parent said in a video of the recorded meeting.
Another demanded the board resign and accused them of allowing "the same sexual predator … to sexually assault another student."