The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

December 14, 2013

School workers plead not guilty in rape case

STEUBENVILLE — Four eastern Ohio school workers entered not guilty pleas Friday to charges stemming from a grand jury investigation into other alleged crimes spurred by the rape of a 16-year-old girl by two high school football players.

The four include Mike McVey, Steubenville’s top school official, whose attorney promised to fight the charges.

“We are confident that we are going to prevail in these cases and prove they’re unfounded,” said McVey’s attorney, Charles Bean. “This was an investigation that went nine months, and this is all they have?”

Special Judge Patricia Ann Cosgrove accepted the not-guilty pleas Friday in Jefferson County court and let the four remain free without bond.

In total, six individuals have been indicted by the rape investigation grand jury, whose work is finished.

McVey and three others are charged with trying to thwart the investigation into the August 2012 rape of the West Virginia girl by the football players. The players were convicted in March and sentenced to the state’s juvenile detention system.

McVey is Steubenville’s superintendent.  The  others

are former Steubenville schools’ technology director William Rhinaman, football team strength coach Seth Fluharty and volunteer football coach Matt Belardine.

A fifth defendant, elementary school principal Lynnett Gorman, is accused of failing to report possible child abuse, apparently involving a teen sex and drinking party in April 2012 unrelated to the West Virginia girl’s rape, her attorney, Dennis McNamara, said after the hearing.

“None of this has anything to do with her job,” said McNamara, who added that Gorman learned about the party second- or third-hand while checking to see if her son had been involved.

Because parents of the teens knew of the party’s circumstances, “I don’t think she had an obligation” to report it, McNamara said.

According to a Steubenville police report, a possible sexual assault of a minor sometime in April 2012 was reported to police on Sept. 3, 2012, after the allegations involving the other girl emerged.

A sixth defendant, Hannah Rhinaman, is the daughter of William Rhinaman. She is accused of stealing school equipment in an alleged crime investigated by the grand jury but unrelated to the rape case.

McVey’s charges include felony counts of obstructing justice and tampering with evidence and a misdemeanor charge alleging he made a false statement in April 2012.

Belardine, whose house authorities said was the scene of the underage drinking party that preceded the rape last summer, faces several misdemeanor charges.

Fluharty was charged with failing to report possible child abuse in August 2012.

William Rhinaman is charged with evidence tampering, obstructing justice, obstructing official business and perjury. The 53-year-old Mingo Junction man has pleaded not guilty.

Hannah Rhinaman faces theft and receiving stolen property charges. She has pleaded not guilty.

1
Text Only
World, nation, state
  • Study finds 35 percent in U.S. facing debt collectors

    More than 35 percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies, according to a study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute.

    July 30, 2014

  • U.S. blasts Israel for Kerry criticism

    The Obama administration pushed back strongly Monday at a torrent of Israeli criticism over Secretary of State John Kerry’s latest bid to secure a cease-fire with Hamas, accusing some in Israel of launching a “misinformation campaign” against the top American diplomat.

    July 29, 2014

  • Outlook on Medicare finances improves

    Medicare’s finances are looking brighter, the government said Monday. The program’s giant hospital trust fund won’t be exhausted until 2030 — four years later than last year’s estimate.

    July 29, 2014

  • Plan to simplify 2015 health renewals may backfire

    If you have health insurance on your job, you probably don’t give much thought to each year’s renewal. But make the same assumption in one of the new health law plans, and it could lead to costly surprises.

    July 28, 2014

  • Hospital shooting suspect charged with murder

    A man accused of fatally shooting his caseworker and grazing his psychiatrist at a suburban Philadelphia hospital complex before the doctor returned fire has been charged with murder.

    July 28, 2014

  • Man seeks video of Oklahoma City bombing

    One man’s quest to explain his brother’s mysterious jail cell death 19 years ago has rekindled long-dormant questions about whether others were involved in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

    July 28, 2014

  • Bill in Congress to help veterans with PTSD

    A group of lawmakers have joined together to help veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Post Traumatic Brain Injury (PTBI) and other war injuries get speedy medical treatment — and avoid Veteran’s Administration bureaucracy and Department of Defense lack of accountability.

    July 28, 2014

  • U.S.: Russia has fired rockets into Ukraine

    Stepping up pressure on Moscow, the U.S. on Sunday released satellite images it says show that rockets have been fired from Russia into neighboring eastern Ukraine and that heavy artillery for separatists also has crossed the border.

    July 28, 2014

  • U.S. says Russia is firing across border into Ukraine

    Russia is launching artillery attacks from its soil on Ukrainian troops and preparing to move heavier weaponry across the border, the U.S. and Ukraine charged Friday in what appeared to be an ominous escalation of the crisis.

    July 25, 2014

  • Gaza sides agree to lull but truce efforts stall

     Israel-Hamas fighting looked headed for escalation after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry failed Friday to broker a weeklong truce as a first step toward a broader deal and Israel’s defense minister warned Israel might soon expand its Gaza ground operation “significantly.”

    July 25, 2014

House Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video