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Virginia governor pardons man whose arrest at a school board meeting galvanized conservatives

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The father of a Virginia student sexually assaulted in her high school bathroom has been pardoned for his actions while protesting the school’s handling of the case at a meeting two years ago. Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced Sunday that he cleared Scott Smith of his disorderly conduct conviction. The incident became a rallying point for Youngkin’s gubernatorial campaign that year and the so-called “parents’ rights” movement nationwide. The teenager convicted of assaulting Smith’s daughter was later found guilty of forcibly touching another classmate at a nearby school while awaiting trial in juvenile court. A special grand jury found a “stunning lack of openness, transparency and accountability” from the school district but no evidence of a coordinated cover-up.

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