Loudoun County, Virginia, Sheriff Michael Chapman denied he colluded with school board officials to keep a man whose daughter was sexually assaulted at one of the county's schools from speaking at a June meeting of the board.
Appearing Friday on Newsmax's ''Spicer & Co.,'' Chapman offered empathy for Scott Smith, who after his daughter was sexually assaulted on May 28 in a girls' restroom by a person he called a ''boy in a dress,'' appeared at the June 22 meeting to oppose the board's proposed transgender policy.
The situation became heated after Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Ziegler denied there had been any reported assaults in restrooms.
The altercation gained national attention through video that spread on the internet, after which Smith was branded a right-wing extremist by some and cited by the National School Boards Association as an example of ''domestic terrorism.''
The accusation came in a letter asking the Department of Justice to unleash the FBI and its counterterrorism division on a flurry school board protesters.
Chapman, however, said his deputy who arrested Smith was unaware of the ongoing investigation of the sexual assault of his daughter, which had begun three weeks before.
''It wasn't ... had nothing to do with what happened to his daughter, and I feel for him,'' Chapman said. ''I can't imagine — two daughters and six granddaughters — I can't imagine what he and his family are going through.''
Still, Chapman denied there was any advance discussion with the school board regarding Smith's appearance.
''A lot to this investigation regarding his daughter, and we didn't charge anybody until July 8, so the notion that there was, somehow we were in some cahoots with the school board, with the commonwealth attorney, with anybody to arrest him to keep him from speaking at that meeting is ridiculous,'' Chapman said.
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