Four adults charged in Steubenville High School rape case
A school superintendent, two coaches and a principal were charged by a grand jury investigating whether other laws were broken in the rape of a 16-year-old girl, the state’s attorney general, Mike DeWine, said on Monday.
The special grand jury investigated whether the school officials knew about the rape allegation and failed to report it, which is a violation of state law.
Superintendent Mike McVey was charged with felony counts of obstructing justice. Lynnett Gorman, an elementary school principal, and Seth Fluharty, a strength coach, were charged with failing to report possible child abuse. Matthew Bellardine, a former volunteer coach, was charged with several misdemeanors, including making false statements and contributing to a child’s delinquency.
The case drew national notoriety, as two high school football players — Ma’Lik Richmond and Trent Mays, both 17 — were convicted of raping a West Virginia girl after a party in August 2012 following a team scrimmage. Richmond was sentenced to a year in juvenile prison, while Mays was also convicted for using his cell phone to photograph the girl naked. He was sentenced to two years in juvenile detention.
DeWine started the investigation of school officials on March 17, the day the boys were convicted. It also charged the schools’ information technology director with tampering with evidence, obstructing justice and perjury. He pleaded not guilty.
High school football is extremely popular in the former steel town with a population of about 18,000, as the Big Red have won nine state titles, including going back-to-back in 2005 and 2006.
Since then, there have been many allegations of a cover up by police and prosecutors. An August article in The New Yorker looked at the role of social media in the spread of information – some of it incorrect – about the case.