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Loudoun County parents at the June 22, 2021 school board meeting. Parents protested transgender policies and propaganda in schools as well as critical race theoryTwitter video / Gabriella Borter

(LifeSiteNews) — Disgraced former Loudoun County Public Schools superintendent Scott Ziegler has been indicted on three misdemeanor counts for his handling of a school rape case that had been kept quiet allegedly to avoid reflecting badly on LGBT education policy.

The Washington Examiner reports that a grand jury impaneled by Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares returned charges against Ziegler of misdemeanor false publication, misdemeanor prohibited conduct, and misdemeanor penalizing an employee for a court appearance, potentially carrying up to one year of prison time; as well as a felony perjury charge against LCPS Public Information Officer Wayde Byard, punishable by up to 10 years in jail.

“While LCPS will await any additional updates from the Special Grand Jury, LCPS plans to address the recommendations of the Special Grand Jury in the School Board’s December 13, 2022 work session,” the district said Monday, adding that Byard has been placed on leave. “The Board will consider policy-related and process improvements to implement to further ensure the safety and care of all LCPS staff and students and restore trust within our community.”

The situation that led to the indictments first came to national attention when U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland instructed the FBI to mobilize a “partnership” between federal, state, and local authorities to discuss “strategies” relating to handling alleged “threats” to educators from parents protesting controversial lesson content such as critical race theory.

As evidence of such “threats,” the Biden administration cited a letter from the heads of the National School Board Association containing examples of alleged unruly behavior at various school board meetings. That letter, for which the NSBA later apologized, cited the case of Loudoun parent Scott Smith, who was arrested for disorderly conduct at one such meeting, but it soon came out that he was actually trying to confront school board members about the district allegedly covering up the rape of his daughter by a “transgender” student in the girls’ bathroom.

That, and a second student sexual assault claim, intensified protests against the district’s leadership, fueling the election of Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who along with Miyares vowed to investigate Loudoun County.

LCPS fired Ziegler within days of the grand jury releasing a report finding that school officials “failed at every juncture” in handling the case.

“The fact that it took an election, a new governor, and on Day One an executive order to get this… investigated, I think, really speaks to the fact that I think the Loudoun County School Board let everyone down and didn’t do their job,” Youngkin said Sunday. “I’m so proud of the Attorney General’s Office. And I want to thank the grand jury for the extensive effort and work that they put in to illuminate what was a terrible, horrific circumstance for all Loudoun County and Virginia.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, the board “faced a horde of incensed parents,” Jeremiah Poff reported at The Washington Examiner. The Smith parents addressed the board.