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Glenn YoungkinPhoto by Win McNamee/Getty Images

(LifeSiteNews) — Virginia’s Republican gubernatorial candidate wants to see the state’s attorney general investigate a school board that allegedly covered up the rape of a female student by a cross-dressing male peer.

“I am calling for an immediate investigation into the Loudoun County School Board for their gross negligence,” Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin said October 19.

The school board’s superintendent initially denied that there had been any assaults in the county school system’s bathrooms or locker rooms. The denial came during a debate this June about opening up female bathrooms and locker rooms to men who say they are women.

A spokesperson for the Youngkin campaign declined to answer further questions from LifeSiteNews about what the candidate’s position is on transgender bathrooms.

“Virginia — and America — awoke to the news that a young teenage girl had been sexually assaulted in her Loudoun County school — and worse, the school administrators covered it up, and Loudoun’s commonwealth attorney targeted the victim’s family,” Youngkin said. The county prosecutor charged Scott Smith, the father of the alleged victim, after he got into an altercation with another parent during a school board meeting.

Educational officials quietly moved the alleged perpetrator to a different school where he allegedly molested another girl. “Let me say that again — I agree, I agree, I’m going to say that again — a young girl was assaulted in her school, and the administrators — those who are entrusted with not only her education, but her safety — tried to cover it up,” Youngkin said. “Then they quietly moved the offender, an offender being prosecuted for sexual assault, to another school where he was able to do it again.”

“Two young girls have been sexually assaulted because our system, our system, failed to protect them,” the Virginia Republican said.

He wants Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring to investigation the board for negligence.

He accused school officials and board members of “endanger[ing] our students and violat[ing] the Virginia Constitution.”

“Instead of investigating parents, the Department of Justice should be investigating those who covered up a heinous crime in our school,” Youngkin said. “They not only covered up a heinous crime, they enabled an offender being prosecuted of sexual assault to attack again.”

“Instead of running a political campaign of division, Virginia’s Attorney General Mark Herring should be investigating those responsible. That is his job, and he won’t do it!” Youngkin said.

He referenced a directive from Attorney General Merrick Garland which instructed the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to investigate the “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff who participate in the vital work of running our nation’s public schools.”

“In the coming days, the Department will announce a series of measures designed to address the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel,” Garland wrote in his October 4 memo.

The attorney general’s order came after the National School Boards Association (NSBA) accused opponents of mask mandates, Critical Race Theory and other liberal causes of carrying out “domestic terrorism.”

The NSBA letter specifically referenced the arrest of Scott Smith as an example of the violence. Almost half of its state members have withdrawn or distanced themselves from the NSBA as a response to the letter.

Though Garland read the school board association’s letter, he said during a U.S. House hearing Thursday that he was not familiar with the rape cover-up.

“Sounds like a state case and I’m not familiar with it,” Garland said. “I don’t know any of the facts of the case,” he said, while agreeing that parents would be right to be upset about moving around an alleged rapist to different schools.

He said he does not know if the Department of Justice is investigating the school board and district for violating the civil rights of students.