On Witness Stand, Former Student Describes Alleged Assaults

Asra Q. Nomani | March 27, 2024

(Fairfax County Times) — Inside Courtroom 1000 of the federal courthouse in Alexandria, for day six of a trial over an alleged rape coverup by school officials, a young woman, “Kate,” transported about 50 people from the vaulted courtroom where she sat on the witness stand to a small corner park, 28.4 miles away at the corner of Middleton Farm Lane and Cherry Branch Lane in a quiet neighborhood in Herndon, in western Fairfax County. 

On Monday, the corner was blooming with daffodils and cherry blossoms, robins singing on the branches of an evergreen tree, a couple walking a tall poodle, and gardeners tossing mulch on well-manicured lawns.

Twelve years ago, “Kate” said, it was a very different scene for her, with alleged sexual assaults and rapes by an eighth grader, C.K., whom the Fairfax County Times is calling “Chris,” met by an allegedly willful indifference by school district officials. When she sought help from school officials, including an assistant principal, Sybil Terry, who was in the courtroom for the trial, she disclosed to the court for the first time she overheard the assistant principal later telling the alleged assailant, “How many times can I keep bailing you out of these situations?”

Former students have told the Fairfax County Times that they nicknamed the assistant principal “Scary Terry, the Dress Code Fairy” because she notoriously disproportionately punished girls for alleged dress code violations while letting boys off the hook for alleged misbehaviors in a culture of “boys will be boys.” Last Friday, one former classmate, J.S., or “Monica,” a young Virginia mother now eight months pregnant, described the school environment as “toxic.”