Grand Jury Reconvenes Today in Rape Case
STEUBENVILLE – An eastern Ohio grand jury examining whether other laws were broken in the rape of a 16-year-old girl last year will reconvene today after reviewing evidence Monday.
Among issues being investigated by the Steubenville panel are whether teachers or coaches knew of the rape but failed to report it as required by state law.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the grand jury March 17, the day a judge convicted two Steubenville High School football players of raping the West Virginia girl after an alcohol-fueled party following a football scrimmage the previous August. The two are serving sentences in juvenile detention.
In April, investigators searched the high school and the local school board offices.
The panel met for several days on two separate occasions in October, first charging William Rhinaman, the Steubenville city schools’ information technology director with tampering with evidence, obstructing justice, obstructing official business and perjury. Rhinaman, 53, of Mingo Junction, has since pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Technology played an important role in the rape case. Photos of the girl taken the night of the rape were introduced at trial, as were numerous texts sent back and forth by students, including the victim and one of the attackers. An infamous YouTube video filmed by a student who had witnessed the rape featured a student not involved in the attack as he mocked the girl.
The panel also has indicted William Rhinaman’s daughter, Hannah Rhinaman, 20, also of Mingo Junction. The charges are separate from those filed against William Rhinaman.