School Superintendent, Three Others Indicted in Steubenville Rape Case
(STEUBENVILLE, Ohio) -- A Steubenville, Ohio, school superintendent and three other adults were indicted Monday by a grand jury investigating whether other laws were broken in the case of a 16-year-old girl who was raped last year by two high school football players. The crime rocked the eastern Ohio mining community, which was plagued with allegations of a cover-up by school officials and coaches. The crime also garnered national attention partly because the events were documented by those present and widely shared on social media.
"People made bad choices and the grand jury said there are repercussions," Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said at a news conference Monday to announce the four latest indictments, which he said were expected to be the last in the case.
Among those charged Monday was Michael McVey, Steubenville City Schools superintendent, who faces charges of tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice and falsification.
Matthew Belerdine, a volunteer football coach, was charged with allowing underage drinking, obstructing official business, falsification and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Also indicted were Lynette Gorman, principal of Pugliese Elementary School, and Seth Fluharty, a wrestling coach at Steubenville High School. Both were charged with failure to report child abuse.
"It took a long time to get all the information the grand jury needed so they could make their decisions. Barring any newly discovered evidence, I believe the grand jury's work is done," DeWine said.
The four adults are expected to appear in Jefferson County Common Pleas Court on Dec. 6. They have not yet entered a plea.
The first indictment issued by the grand jury was handed up in October against William Rhinaman, 53, the director of technology for Steubenville City Schools. He faces charges of tampering with evidence, obstructing justice, obstructing official business and perjury, according to the indictment. He has entered a not guilty plea.
In March, Steubenville High School football players Trent Mays, 17, and Ma'lik Richmond, 16, were both found delinquent -- the juvenile court equivalent of guilty -- of the digital penetration of an intoxicated 16-year-old girl. Digital penetration is legally defined as rape in Ohio.
Mays and Richmond were both sentenced to at least one year in juvenile jail and could be held until they are 21 years old. Mays was sentenced to an additional year for a charge related to distributing nude images of a minor.
"Teenagers and alcohol-fueled parties, absent adults, bad decisions, acts of violence...they're not unique to this community," DeWine said. "How do you hold kids accountable if you don't hold the adults accountable?"
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