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Youngkin pardons Virginia father who was arrested at 2021 school board meeting

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has granted a pardon to Scott Smith, a Loudoun County father who was arrested during a school board meeting in 2021 while seeking answers about his daughter’s sexual assault on school property.

Scott Smith was charged with obstruction of justice and disorderly conduct for his conduct at the meeting, which occurred shortly after his 15-year-old daughter was assaulted in her school’s bathroom in Ashburn, Virginia. In 2021, Smith was convicted of both charges, although his conviction for resisting arrest was later dismissed. He received a suspended sentence of 10 days in jail.

Governor Youngkin issued the pardon, stating, “Scott Smith is a dedicated parent who has faced unwarranted charges in his pursuit to protect his daughter. Scott’s commitment to his child despite the immense obstacles is emblematic of the parental empowerment movement that started in Virginia.”

Youngkin emphasized the importance of parental involvement in a child’s education and upbringing, stating that parents’ fundamental rights should never be undermined by bureaucracy, school divisions, or the state.

The arrest of Scott Smith at the school board meeting gained national attention and contributed to a broader conversation about school choice and parental rights. Conservative media outlets used the sexual assault case to promote anti-transgender narratives. During his 2021 gubernatorial campaign, Youngkin focused on these issues, pledging to embrace parents and address their concerns.

Deputies later arrested a male student in connection with the sexual assault against Smith’s daughter. The student was found guilty in that case and pleaded no contest to a separate sexual assault case at a different school.

In an interview following his pardon, Scott Smith expressed relief that the ordeal was finally over and believed that what happened to him should never have occurred. He also expressed concerns about the challenges of obtaining a fair and free trial in today’s America.

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