Steubenville School Employee Charged With Obstruction Of Justice In Rape Case

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Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced today that a Steubenville school employee has been indicted for obstruction of justice, perjury and two other charges in connection with the 2012 rape of a 16-year-old student at Steubenville High School.

The employee in question is one William Rhinaman, who works for Steubenville city schools in the information technology sector and was arrested earlier today. While the precise nature of the accusations hasn't yet been released, a grand jury indicted Rhinaman on four charges: Tampering with evidence, obstructing justice, obstructing official business and perjury. His indictment comes as the result of a larger investigation into what role, if any, school authorities played in the aftermath of the 2012 incident. 

In March of this year, high schoolers Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond were convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl at a football after party in August 2012. The rapists’ friends filmed the assault, and images of the attack were later disseminated on social media. Ever since Mays’ and Richmond’s convictions, the Ohio Attorney General’s office has been looking into allegations that school administrators were involved in covering up the assault, perhaps by failing to report it to law enforcement after hearing about it as required by state law.

Mays and Richmond were sentenced to two years and one year, respectively, in a youth facility; the extra year added to Mays’ sentence stems from the fact that he disseminated images of the assault which, because the victim was a minor, amounted to distribution of child pornography. Three teens who witnessed the attack were granted immunity in exchange for testifying against the assailants.

In announcing the charges against Rhinaman, DeWine referred to it as “the first indictment in an ongoing grand jury investigation,” suggesting that there may be more indictments to come.

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