Loudoun County, VA – A Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) counselor has been arrested on allegations she had an inappropriate relationship with a student while she was working at Freedom High School.
The investigation into 42-year-old Ann Barrett began in May, after LCPS district personnel learned she allegedly had an inappropriate relationship with a student between 2013 and 2015 while she was working as a high school counselor, WTTG reported.
Details regarding the allegations were not released.
Barrett was arrested Thursday on a charge of taking indecent liberties with a child by a custodian and was booked into the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center, WTTG reported.
She has since been released on a $10,000 secured bond.
LCPS spokesperson Wayde Byard said Barrett was placed on leave when the allegations came to light in May, WTOP reported.
Barrett was working at Stone Hill Middle School at the time.
The district is currently working to fire her, WTOP reported.
“She was put on administrative leave,” Byard confirmed. “We’re seeking termination and a revocation of license.”
Barrett’s arrest is the latest bombshell for LCPS, which is currently reeling from allegations district officials tried to cover up the May 28 rape of a 15-year-old girl in order to advance the transgender rights policy it was pushing at the time, FOX News reported.
The school board ultimately passed the new policy in August, months after school officials were made aware the ninth-grade girl was raped in a school bathroom by a 15-year-old gender-fluid boy wearing a skirt.
Elizabeth Lancaster, the attorney representing the victim’s father, Scott Smith, said the rapist was subsequently charged with two counts of forcible sodomy, one count of forcible fellatio, and one count of anal sodomy, according to The Daily Wire.
He was convicted of those charges on Oct. 25, WTOP reported.
The same suspect allegedly struck again at another school in the district on Oct. 6, according to FOX News.
The second incident, which occurred at Broad Run High School, involved allegations the teen forced another student “into an empty classroom where he held her against her will and inappropriately touched her,” the LCSO said in a press release.
The victim immediately reported the assault to a LCSO school resource officer.
The suspect was arrested on abduction and sexual battery charges, according to the sheriff’s office.
He is scheduled to appear in court for an adjudicatory hearing on that matter on Nov. 15, WTOP reported.
The judge previously said she plans to announce dispositions for both assaults on that date.
When Smith confronted the school board about the attack on his daughter during a public board meeting on June 22, LCPS Superintendent Scott Ziegler denied having “any record” of any assaults occurring in a LCPS bathroom, WJLA reported.
But according to an e-mail that surfaced late last month, Ziegler actually alerted the rest of the board about the May 28 sexual assault approximately one month prior to his public denial, FOX News reported.
Ziegler recently said he has never been alerted by the LCSO about a juvenile student being charged with a crime in his entire three-year stint with LCPS, WTOP reported.
“In my time as superintendent, I have not received any reports of crimes from local law enforcement,” he said in response to questions from school board member Ian Serotkin, according to WTOP.
“Zero?” Serotkin asked.
“Yes, sir, zero. I have not received any reports concurrent with the time a student was charged,” Ziegler insisted.
The superintendent’s denial suggested the sheriff’s office was to blame for allegedly keeping school officials in the dark about allegations of rape on LCPS campuses, according to WTOP.
Loudoun County Sheriff Michael Chapman flatly denied such suggestions in an interview with WTOP.
“That’s completely false,” he said, referring to Ziegler’s claims.
Sheriff Chapman noted that school officials often contact the sheriff’s office to investigate incidents, to include the May 28 sexual assault of the 15-year-old girl in her school bathroom.
LCSO Colonel Mark Poland echoed the sheriff’s emphatic stance on the issue during a Board of Supervisor’s meeting on Wednesday, WTOP reported.
“They were notified,” Col. Poland reiterated. “They were absolutely notified.”
Outraged parents and community members converged on the school board meeting on Oct. 26, demanding the board and Ziegler be held responsible for the coverup, WTOP reported.
Sheriff Chapman announced his office will no longer provide security for LCPS school board meetings, WRC reported.