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Grand jury in rape probe reconvenes

Friday, May 24, 2013

Associated Press


An eastern Ohio grand jury examining whether other laws were broken in the case of a 16-year-old girl raped by two high-school football players resumed work Thursday after a three-week break.

One of the key issues before the panel in Steubenville is whether adults such as coaches or school administrators knew of the rape allegation but failed to report it as required by Ohio law.

The panel met once, for three days, before adjourning earlier this month to allow investigators more time to collect evidence and conduct witness interviews.

Attorney General Mike DeWine, whose office is investigating the case, has said nothing is off the table for the grand jury. He announced its creation March 17, the day a judge convicted the two players of raping the West Virginia girl in separate incidents after an alcohol-fueled party last summer.

The rape case long has been marked by allegations that more football players should have been charged and that police and prosecutors tried to cover up aspects of the case early on. Authorities counter that the two teens were arrested and charged within days of the attack.

Hacker activists helped propel coverage of the case and press allegations of a cover-up, including their reposting of a 12-minute Internet video made within hours of the attacks in which Michael Nodianos, a former Steubenville student, jokes about the victim and the attacks. The National Organization for Women has called on DeWine to charge Nodianos with failure to report a crime, while Nodianos’ attorney says he had no firsthand knowledge of the attacks.