Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin (R) has pardoned the Loudoun County father who was arrested and branded a "domestic terrorist" for speaking out about his daughter's rape by a male classmate in a skirt.
Scott Smith was convicted of disorderly conduct for confronting school board officials about his daughter's assault in one of the school's transgender bathrooms. The district hid the 2021 incident and allowed the offending student to victimize another girl at a different school.
Smith's ordeal - and the school's desperate coverup - led to a national outcry that fueled the parental rights movement.
The district's superintendent, Scott Ziegler, was fired last year for covering up the incidents, and he is now facing charges.
At the school board meeting where Smith was arrested, Ziegler had said “the predator transgender student or person simply does not exist," but e-mails showed that Ziegler had notified school officials on the day the assault happened.
The assailant was later convicted and added to the sex offender registry.
Youngkin, who won election in 2021 by campaigning as an ally of frustrated and embattled parents with kids in "woke" schools, said Smith never should have been prosecuted.
"He should have never been prosecuted here. This was a dad standing up for his daughter,” Youngkin said. “His daughter had been sexually assaulted in the bathroom of a school, and no one was doing anything about it.”
After Smith was arrested, he was singled out by the National School Board Association in its infamous "domestic terrorism" letter pushing the Biden administration to send the FBI after concerned parents.
Smith thanked Youngkin for acknowledging his innocence and standing up against a "weaponized" justice system.
“I want to thank Governor Youngkin for his declaration that I am innocent, and for his absolute and unconditional pardon,” Smith said in a statement Sunday.
“While I was extremely confident in my lawyers’ abilities to defend me in court, I am grateful that the Governor recognizes that our justice system has been both weaponized and politicized to the point where my ability to receive a fair trial was in jeopardy."
Virginia's Democrats blasted Youngkin's pardon, accusing him of scoring political points.
"This political stunt by Governor Youngkin is an unprecedented and inappropriate intervention into an active legal case. He chose to interfere in the legal process but not for justice but for political gain. The justice system does not work when a Governor becomes the judge and jury," Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj said.