Longtime LCPS spokesperson Wayde Byard found not guilty of perjury in probe of sex assault case

A verdict was reached Thursday in the perjury trial of suspended Loudoun County Public Schools spokesperson Wayde Byard. 

The jury found Byard not guilty of the felony charge after deliberating for about an hour and a half.

"Today, I can't say I'm really happy because I expected this," Byard told FOX 5 outside the court. "Jennifer [Byard's attorney made sure this happened. She assured me every step of the way. I felt confident in this. I felt confident in Judge Flemming, I felt confident the jury would reach an impartial and fair verdict."

There were questions about whether Byard would testify Thursday. He did not take the stand because he believed what he told the special grand jury was truthful. But his wife did. 

Her husband’s attorney asked her one question: Did he communicate with her about the sexual assault case between May 28 and October 6, 2021? 

She said, "No."


Day 2 of trial for Loudoun County school spokesman charged with perjury in probe of sex assault case

During Day 2 of the trial for longtime Loudoun County spokesperson Wayde Byard jurors heard from multiple high-level officials at Loudoun County Public Schools.

There was no cross-examination from the Commonwealth's Attorney for Byard’s wife.

Several witnesses were called to the stand throughout the three-day trial, including the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office’s public information officer and some Loudoun County Public Schools employees.

The perjury case against Byard is the first prosecution to go to trial from a special grand jury investigation commissioned by Republican Attorney General Jason Miyares.

The grand jury examined the school system's handling of two sexual assaults at two different high schools in 2021. The assaults became a major issue in that year's gubernatorial election in part because the boy who committed the assaults was allowed to transfer to another school after the first attack and in part because the boy was wearing a skirt when he committed the first attack in a school bathroom. At the time the county was considering a policy change to allow transgender students to use the restroom of their choice. 

Byard told the grand jury that he only became aware that the allegations involved unwanted sexual contact after the second assault occurred at Broad Run High School in October 2021.

Both victims’ parents were in the courtroom Thursday. 

In response to the verdict, a spokesperson for AG Miyares sent FOX 5 a statement which reads: "The Special Grand Jury indicted Mr. Byard after hearing all of the evidence, and we are proud that the Judge agreed with us time and time again that this case needed to be heard in front of a jury. Lying under oath undermines our justice system and must be taken seriously. While we are disappointed with the jury’s decision, we’re proud of our team for uncovering the truth and providing answers to concerned Virginia parents. "

Byard told FOX 5 that he'll spend the rest of his day at a family birthday party and watching the Yankees game. He has not decided if he’s returning to Loudoun County Public Schools where he’s worked the last 23 years.