by James C. Sherlock
I admit it.
I hope the cases against the two Loudoun County school officials actually go to trial.
The indictments for misconduct by school system officials surrounding the rapes of two school girls seem to require it to assign accountability.
But left-wing icon Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj is in a hard spot whether they go to trial or not.
She had her chance to use the special grand jury system to investigate these circumstances and did not. The Attorney General, with approval of the Circuit Court in Loudoun County, did it for her.
Now the interesting part starts for Ms. Biberaj and the rest of us.
Special grand juries are empaneled to investigate and report on any condition that involves or tends to promote criminal activity and consider bills of indictment to determine whether there is sufficient probable cause to return each such indictment as a “true bill,” as happened in these cases.
Special grand juries are employed when a regular grand jury is deemed inappropriate for either the subject or the depth of investigation required.
The indictments In Ziegler’s case charge various violations of the Code of Virginia:
- § 18.2-209, 18.2-11. False publication is a Class 3 misdemeanor;
- § 2.2-3103.10. prohibited conduct (retaliate or threaten to retaliate) is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor;
- § 18.2-465.1. Penalizing employee for court appearance or service on jury panel is a Class 3 misdemeanor.
Now that indictments are on her desk, she can decline to prosecute the Class 1, 2 and 3 misdemeanor indictments of Mr. Ziegler, as is her right under Virginia law. But if she does so, unlike less famous misdemeanors, that will not be the last she hears of it.
As for Ziegler “looking forward to the time the truth becomes public” as he announced, it already has.
Lying under oath, for which Mr. Byard is indicted, is seen by the General Assembly as a strike at the heart of the criminal justice system and is punishable as a Class 5 felony. A special feature of this charge is that upon the conviction of any person for perjury, such person thereby shall be adjudged forever incapable of holding any office of honor, profit or trust under the Constitution of Virginia, or of serving as a juror.
If Ms. Biberaj pleas down the indictment against Mr. Byard to a misdemeanor, she will be seen as soft on lying to the law enforcement system she represents about the rape of minors.
Finally, watch for attempts to expunge the records of any criminal convictions in both cases.
All in all, this mess could not happen to a more deserving prosecutor than Buta Biberaj.
Her soft-on-crime stances have pleased a majority of Loudoun voters. But I think she will find that being soft on attempted public coverups of and lies about the rapes of school girls will play out as a different matter entirely.
We wonder if George Soros, Ms. Biberaj’s biggest contributor, is following these cases.