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Loudoun judge dismisses 1 of 2 counts against father of sex assault victim

A Circuit Court judge threw out an obstruction charge against Scott Smith, citing an apparent clerical error by a lower court judge who had convicted him.

LEESBURG, Va. — A Loudoun County judge threw out one of two counts against the father of a young sexual assault victim who was dragged screaming from a school board hearing a year ago.

The arrest of Scott Smith in May 2021, and the attack on his 16-year-old daughter at school, helped spark the national parents' rights movement and sweep Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin into power.

On Monday, a Loudoun County Circuit Court judge dismissed the obstruction and resisting count against Smith, with prejudice, citing an apparent clerical error by the General District Court judge who had previously convicted him. Smith still faces a disorderly conduct charge.

"One charge down, one to go," Smith's lawyer William Stanley, a Republican state senator, said on Monday. "And we're expecting to be victorious on the obstruction of justice charge. He was well within his rights what he did that day. He has every right to stand up as a parent and say, 'You're wrong, you're not being truthful.' Is that creating a disorder? I think not."

He said the sheriff's deputies who restrained Smith at the school board were violating his free speech rights, and that he had a legal justification to resist.

The judge is still trying to decide on a request by Stanley to disqualify prosecutor Buta Biberaj and move the trial on the remaining disorderly conduct charge to another county. 

Biberaj has faced alleged death threats and has been slammed on far-right and white supremacist websites as "a Muslim immigrant prosecutor who arrested an 'American' who complained about his daughter's rape." Biberaj is Albanian American.

"Loudoun's commonwealth's attorney targeted the victims' families," Youngkin said in October during the campaign.

Biberaj said she was unaware at the time that the man charged by the sheriff's office with disorderly conduct at the school board meeting was also the father of a sexual assault victim. 

The teen attacker has since been convicted in both school assaults.

Stanley told the judge that a sticker that allegedly remained up on the prosecutor's office building for weeks is an indication that Biberaj -- a reform-minded Democrat -- has put politics over justice as she's pursued the case. The sticker shows Smith being dragged out of the school board meeting by deputies. 

Biberaj told WUSA9 she remembers removing a sticker from the Market St. side of her building, but said she does not recall the picture.

As for the disorderly conduct charge against Smith, she said, "You have your right to freedom of speech. No one wants to ever abridge that. But you don't have the right to tussle with law enforcement."

Biberaj said she had no bias against Smith, and said this case could have been resolved a long time ago if he had accepted responsibility.

The judge promises a written decision soon.

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