The Virginia State Police is investigating threats made against Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj, one of the many public officials being criticized for the handling of the alleged sexual assaults against Loudoun students.
News that a student, who on Monday was convicted of assaulting a female student in a Stone Bridge High School bathroom on May 28, was charged with assaulting another student at Broad Run High School on Oct. 7 shocked the community and called into question decision making by Superintendent Scott Ziegler.
The father of the victim from the first incident was arrested after getting into an altercation with an activist at the June 22 School Board meeting. Biberaj prosecuted Smith, who was then found guilty of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Smith is in the process of appealing that decision.
As news of the assault and Smith’s subsequent arrest spread across global outlets, critics on social media charge that Biberaj conspired against the father by choosing to prosecute his case herself.
Biberaj said that she has received death threats through both her office and cell phones.
“The Virginia State Police is in receipt of the threats and has forwarded them to our Behavioral Threat Assessment and Management Team, as is done with any email of an alarming/threatening nature that is received by an elected/public official. No arrest or charges have been placed at this time,” a statement for the State Police said. The Sheriff’s Office is not involved in the investigation.
Other public officials have received threats amid the culture war in the division, over transgender rights and progressive social programs—initiatives, critics say, indoctrinate students.
The Loudoun County Democratic Committee and its members have reported receiving dozens of threatening messages.
“Go kill yourself, do the world a favour—we’re better off without the poison of your evil masquerading as piety,” reads one anonymous email.
School Board member Atoosa Reaser (Algonkian), who is one of five members facing a recall effort, shared on Facebook in April a threat that she received.
“Don't be surprised when you low-IQ, poorly educated, and morally bankrupt pinko traitors are dragged from your beds in the middle of the night and hanged by the neck until dead by the righteously angry parents of your community," the sender wrote.
Beth Barts (Leesburg), the only member for whom a removal petition has been filed, resigned from the board, effective Nov. 2, amid the turmoil over the assaults.
An email from Ziegler to the full board shows that the board was informed of the first assault the same day that it occurred. Ziegler said that the Sheriff’s Office was handling the investigation. It is still unclear why the assailant was transferred to another school in the district, where, parents charge, he posed a risk to students.
Barts shared on her Facebook page that the board knew about the May 28 assault and was told by Ziegler that no updates would be available until the conclusion of the law enforcement investigation.
On a school division Facebook post, users posted threatening messages.
“A public hanging is in order. No charge to attend. Should only take a few seconds and won’t cost much,” Facebook user Jim Culleton commented.
An anonymous message to the full board, referring to Ziegler, said, “We The People are going to drag him—and every last [expletive] one of you pieces of [expletive] out into the middle of the street and teach you a [expletive] lesson that you will never [expletive] forget.”
Sheriff’s Office spokesman Kraig Troxell said that there are currently not any investigations into the comments and threats since the sexual assaults.
“While many of the messages are vulgar and disturbing, the messages received at this time do not meet the elements of a crime under the Virginia Code,” Troxell said.