Teen in Rape Case Allowed To Go to Calif.

STEUBENVILLE -One of two Steubenville High School defendants in a rape case pending in Jefferson County Juvenile Court was allowed to travel to California last week, a court official has confirmed.

The 16-year-old teen, who was released to the care of Jennifer and Gregory Agresta of Steubenville, was granted permission to travel to California with the Agrestas from Dec. 31 through Jan. 5, juvenile court reported.

One of the Agrestas’ sons was selected in the fall to participate in an all-American football game in California, the juvenile court official said. The selection was made prior to the teen being released into the care of the Agrestas in early November, the court official said.

Attorney Walter Madison asked visiting Judge Tom Lipps to allow the teen to travel with the Agrestas.

Lipps then gave permission.

The court official said the court knew the whereabouts of the defendant while he was in California. The teen checked back in with the court when he returned, and he resumed house arrest in the Agresta household.

The teen and another 16-year-old male from Bloomingdale are facing a rape charge in connection with the alleged sexual assault that occurred during the overnight hours of Aug. 11-12 and involved a girl who witnesses said was highly intoxicated. One of the teens also faces a charge of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material.

The trial for the defendants is scheduled to begin on Feb. 13 in the Jefferson County Justice Center. Lipps has ruled the case will remain in juvenile court and not be transferred to adult court.

The case has drawn the attention of the national media. The Agrestas were on the “Today” show on Tuesday discussing the case. The judge also released the second defendant to his parents.

Both juveniles are on electronically monitored house arrest and only allowed to leave the home for school and church. Both teens attend the juvenile court alternative school. Lipps said he didn’t want the juveniles to have contact with fellow students who have testified or may testify in the future.

The juveniles also were ordered not to have contact with the victim.