Ohio AG: No Timeline For Rape Grand Jury

STEUBENVILLE – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine this week said no specific date has been set for a special grand jury investigating the Steubenville rape case to meet again.

The grand jury last convened in August.

“This can’t get over soon enough for me. This grand jury has been meeting for so long. But it will come back with the truth,” DeWine said Monday prior to a meeting with law enforcement officials at Eastern Gateway Community College.

“I think for there to be closure for the community, we have to have some definitive answers or we need to be able to say we can’t get those.”

Trent Mays, 18, of Bloomingdale and Ma’Lik Richmond, 17, were found guilty of rape charges in March by retired Juvenile Judge Thomas Lipps. Mays also was found guilty of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material for having a photo of the victim in an ongoing text message on his cell phone.

The charges stemmed from the rape of a 16-year-old Weirton girl in August 2012.

Richmond was sentenced to one year in a Department of Youth Services, and Mays was sentenced to two years in a youth detention center.

Within minutes of the judge’s verdict DeWine held a press conference at the Jefferson County Justice Center where he announced he was calling for a special grand jury to investigate all aspects of the case and whether others should be charged.

The special grand jury was seated on April 15 and has met 10 times since.

“I’m sorry it’s gone on so long but my commitment to the community was that we would come back with the truth and it would be definitive and that would be it. Frankly I don’t want to speculate and tell you how soon it’s going to be and not live up to that commitment,” DeWine said.

The grand jury adjourned in August after three consecutive days, and DeWine said then that forensic work involving cell phones and computers had yet to be completed.

One of the key issues before the grand jury is whether adults who are required to report crimes knew early on of the rape but didn’t say anything.