2 guilty in Steubenville rape, grand jury to examine case for other crimes
Published: Sunday, March 17, 2013
Updated: Sunday, March 17, 2013 23:03
The two teens charged in the rape of a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio, last summer were found guilty Sunday, but Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said charges could be brought against other people involved in the incident.
Steubenville, a small town along the Ohio River, has gained national attention leading up to the trial involving two high school football players, 17-year-old Trent Mays and 16-year-old Ma’Lik Richmond.
Mays was also found guilty of disseminating a nude photo of a minor.
The teenagers were tried as juveniles, and evidence was presented over four days.
Mays was sentenced to a minimum of two years in a juvenile correctional facility, and Richmond was sentenced to a minimum of one year. The teenagers have potential to be in detention until they are 21.
The teenagers were accused of raping the intoxicated victim during a series of parties in August. The girl said during the trial that she had no memory of the alleged attacks.
While only the two teenagers were charged in connection to the case, that could change, DeWine said. A grand jury has been called and is scheduled to meet on April 15 to determine if other crimes had been committed.
DeWine issued a statement on the verdict in the case and future proceedings.
“A prosecutor’s most important duty is to seek justice. I believe with these verdicts that justice has been done,” DeWine said. “However, this is not a happy time for anyone. Every rape is a tragedy. This is a tragedy.”
DeWine said the issue of rape is a society issue, not just a Steubenville problem.
“Rape is not a recreational activity. We, as a society, have an obligation do more to educate our young people about rape. They need to know it is a horrible crime of violence. And it is simply not okay,” DeWine said in the statement.
DeWine also said investigators have completed 56 interviews to date in relation to the case, including students who were at the party where the rape took place, Steubenville High School officials and football coaches.
Ohio State was pulled into the case after a video taken from the night of those parties, which features former OSU student and Steubenville High School graduate Michael Nodianos talking and laughing about the alleged rape for more than 12 minutes, was released online.
Nodianos was no longer a student at the university through Fall Semester exams on Dec. 12, and his name no longer yields any results on FindPeople, the university directory.
The video, which can be found on YouTube under the title “Michael Nodianos confession #oprollredroll #occupysteubenville Steubenville rape case” and several other names, shows Nodianos wearing an OSU T-shirt making analogies that the alleged victim was “deader than” or was “raped harder than.”
Earlier this month more than 85,000 signatures were given to DeWine by members of the Ohio National Organization for Women (Ohio Now), calling for the arrest of Nodianos because of comments made about the rape.
The law firm of Dennis McNamara, which is representing Nodianos, declined comment.
DeWine acknowledged that Nodianos did not act respectfully, but he told the protestors on March 4 he disagreed that Nodianos’ actions warranted an arrest.
“There’s a difference between what is a criminal violation and what is obnoxious, or otherwise immoral,” DeWine said to the crowd.
Adam Martello, a Steubenville native and third-year in economics at OSU, said he attended the hearings on Wednesday and Friday where evidence such as text messages and an unreleased photos advanced the prosecutor’s case.
“Hearing what those text messages were cleared up a lot of rumors,” he said, adding that he agreed with the case verdict.
Martello called the incident and case “embarrassing to the city and the area” and hopes that it can be put in the past.