A teenager found guilty of committing multiple sexual assaults in multiple Loudoun County, Va. schools will not have to register as a sex offender after Judge Pamela Brooks reversed an earlier ruling on Friday. The teenager, a 15-year-old, is set remain on probation in a juvenile detention facility until his 18th birthday.
He was found guilty on multiple counts earlier this month, when Brooks had originally sentenced him to both probation and a spot on the sex offender registry. His lawyers have claimed that he is being unfairly penalized as a result of “a national media outcry.”
The case was first reported on by the Daily Wire, and became a focus of the Virginia gubernatorial campaign last fall. One of the victims’ parents alleged that the Loudoun County School Board and administration had covered up the first of the teenager’s assaults. After that incident, the culprit was moved to another school, where the second incident occurred.
His lawyers had argued that the teen has been “cheated” by “the failure of the system,” and suggested that placement on the sex registry would get in the way of his rehabilitation
Judge Brooks explained the change in sentencing by asserting that “this court made an error in my initial ruling. The court is not vain enough to think it’s perfect, but I want to get it right,” and citing data showing the continued development of the male brain through the age of 27.
Loudoun County Commonwealth Attorney Buta Biberaj had argued that he be placed on the registry for the community’s protection, while acknowledging that it might harm his future prospects.