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Woodbridge, VA - Woodbridge Choir Director, Joel A. Shapiro, Charged with 2017 Child Sexual Abuse Incident at Clarke County Public School

Woodbridge, VA - Woodbridge Choir Director, Joel A. Shapiro, Charged with 2017 Child Sexual Abuse Incident at Clarke County Public School
Published: April 18, 2024
By: Darla Medina
Last Updated on April 18, 2024

Virginia Choir Director Arrested for Sexual Abuse of a Minor

The Loudoun Times-Mirror has reported that the choir director at Woodbridge Senior High School, Joel A. Shapiro, has been charged by state police in connection with the sexual abuse of a minor that occurred seven years ago in Leesburg. The arrest took place on Thursday, April 4, 2024, and Shapiro now faces one felony count of taking indecent liberties with a child by a custodian. Woodbridge Senior High School is located at 3001 Old Bridge Rd, Woodbridge, VA 22192. 

The investigation into Shapiro's alleged misconduct was initiated by state police last July after an allegation was made against him regarding a 2017 incident in Leesburg. At that time, Shapiro resided in Leesburg and worked as a music teacher for Clarke County Schools. Following his arrest, Shapiro was taken into custody without incident and subsequently released on bond from the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center.

As stated on the school choir's website, Shapiro's tenure at Woodbridge High School dates back to 2017. During his time there, he taught multiple school choirs and chorales. Prior to joining Woodbridge High School, Shapiro taught at Clarke County High School and Johnson-Williams Middle School in Berryville from 2014 to 2017. Despite his profile stating he served as the honors choir conductor for the Loudoun County Public Schools All-County TTBB Choir and the Fauquier County All-County TB Choir, the county chief of communications reported there was no history of his employment with the division.

According to the Loudoun Times-Mirror, Shapiro's alleged victim has come forward with compelling evidence, including pictures, text messages, and handwritten notes from Shapiro that confirm their relationship. The victim's account is further supported by two classmates who have corroborated parts of her story. A criminal complaint detailing these allegations has been filed at the Loudoun County courthouse.

In response to the situation, Principal Heather Abney of Woodbridge High School issued a note to the school community, assuring them that Shapiro has been placed on administrative leave. Abney emphasized the school's commitment to creating a safe and secure environment for all students. It is important to note that the alleged offense occurred prior to Shapiro's employment with Prince William schools.

The investigation into this distressing incident remains ongoing, and state police are urging anyone with information to come forward. Individuals who possess relevant details can contact the state police Fairfax field office at 703-803-2676 or send an email to As this case continues to unfold, authorities are determined to shed light on the truth and pursue justice for the victim.

Hello. My name is Kevin Biniazan. I am licensed to practice law in Arizona and Virginia. If you or a loved one needs legal assistance, I’d be happy to speak with you. Call the number below. It would be my honor to help you. Consultations are free.
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Examining Legal Rights and School Accountability in Cases of Choir Director Sexual Abuse

In a recent interview, we looked into the legal rights of individuals who have suffered sexual abuse at the hands of high school choir directors and the steps they can take to hold negligent schools accountable. Virginia sex abuse lawyer, Kevin Biniazan sat down with us to share valuable insights on navigating the legal landscape, seeking justice, and providing support for victims sexually abused by a high school music teacher.

Editor Darla Medina (DM): Welcome, Mr. Biniazan.

Attorney Kevin Biniazan (KB): Thank you, Darla. I'm glad to be here and discuss this important topic.

DM: Let's start by addressing the legal rights of those who have suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a high school choir director. What options do they have?

KB: Victims of sexual abuse by a high school employee have legal recourse available to them. They can pursue both criminal charges and civil claims against the perpetrator. Criminal charges are handled by law enforcement and the prosecutor's office, while civil claims seek compensation for the victim's damages, such as physical and emotional trauma.

DM: How can victims hold negligent schools accountable for the actions of their employees?

KB: Holding schools accountable for the actions of their employees involves establishing negligence on the part of the school. Victims can pursue legal action against the school by demonstrating that the school failed to properly screen, supervise, or respond to reports of misconduct. It's essential to gather evidence, such as records of previous complaints or inadequate background checks, to support these claims.

DM: What advice would you give to individuals who have experienced sexual abuse by a high school choir director and are seeking justice?

KB: First and foremost, I want to emphasize that victims should prioritize their safety and well-being. It's crucial to seek support from trusted individuals, such as counselors or support groups specializing in sexual abuse. Secondly, I encourage victims to consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in sexual abuse cases. They can provide guidance, explain the legal options available, and help navigate the complex legal process.

DM: Thank you, Mr. Biniazan, for sharing your insights on this sensitive matter and highlighting the legal rights of those affected by sexual abuse in a high school.

KB: It was my pleasure, Darla. I hope our conversation can provide some clarity and support to those who need it.


Loudoun Times-Mirror

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About the Author
Darla Medina
About Darla Medina
Editor: Darla is a content writer with a focus on the legal field. She covers cases of sexual abuse, drunk driving, and preventable violent crime for the Legal Herald. Contact Darla: This article was fact checked prior to publishing by this author to ensure compliance with our rigorous editorial standards. We will only use authoritative sources. Our values compel us to provide only trustworthy information. If you find an error, please contact us.
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