LEESBURG, Va. - Former Loudoun County Superintendent Scott Ziegler walked into the courtroom Thursday with his attorney, hoping that the judge would dismiss charges against him.
But that request was denied.
Ziegler’s attorney Erin Harrigan is accusing the prosecution of misconduct, saying they influenced the special grand jury’s report that resulted in her client's indictment.
The former superintendent is facing three misdemeanor charges following an investigation into how Loudoun County Public Schools handled sexual assaults at two schools while he was in charge in 2021.
Inside the courtroom, the prosecution asked the judge to deny the motion to dismiss the charges, citing that there was no constitutional violation and that the prosecution could in fact be part of a grand jury investigation.
Judge Douglas Flemming thanked both sides for their arguments, denied the defense's request, and in closing said he "agrees generally with the argument of the Commonwealth."
The mother of the victim involved in the Stonebridge High School sexual assault was in the courtroom Thursday.
"I'm glad that that happened," said Jessica Smith in response to the judge's decision. "This needs to go to fruition. People need to be held accountable for what they did."
"There's a lot of people that need to be held accountable, not just Ziegler," she added.
Ziegler will be in court next week. The trial is expected to proceed as scheduled.