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Steubenville Rape Case: Defense in second Ohio football player's trial also wants delay, new venue

Activists from the online group KnightSec and Anonymous protest at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Steubenville, Ohio on Jan. 5, 2013. Members of the group said they are outraged over what they contend is a cover-up in the alleged rape of a teenage girl by two Steubenville High School football players that reportedly occurred in August 2012. AP Photo/Steubenville Herald-Star, Michael D. McElwain

Activists from the online groups KnightSec and Anonymous protest at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Steubenville, Ohio, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013.
AP Photo/Steubenville Herald-Star, Michael D. McElwain
(CBS/AP) COLUMBUS, Ohio - The lawyer for one of two high school football players charged with raping a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio wants to delay the trial and have it moved out of the city that has received international attention, largely due to an online video. 

Attorney Brian Duncan filed the motion Friday on behalf of Trent Mays, who is scheduled for trial next month in juvenile court in Steubenville. Duncan expects to file another motion this week to move the trial.

An attorney for the other defendant, Ma'Lik Richmond, filed similar motions earlier this month, as well as a request to close the trial to the public.

The case has gained attention through the work of bloggers and hacker-activists who allege other football players should be charged but are being protected by a cover-up. The controversial 12-minute video shows a student who was not involved in the alleged attack but is apparently aware of it, joking about it while others in the background chime in.

Also, in a photograph, the two defendants are apparently seen carrying the girl by her arms and legs, according to the transcript of an October hearing where a judge heard testimony before deciding whether the teens should be charged.

In a statement earlier this month, Duncan urged the public not to let the case reflect on the Steubenville area in general. He also acknowledged the role of social media in the case but again urged people not to draw conclusions.

"We certainly recognize that the video, photograph, alleged facts, and surrounding circumstances set forth on the Internet and portrayed in the media would cause even the most optimistic of man to call into question the defendants' presumption of innocence," Duncan said in the Jan. 9 statement.

"We must be careful in this age of social media to ensure that the words set forth do in fact portray the actual story," he said.

At the October hearing, three high school students testified to seeing the attack on the girl from nearby Weirton, W.Va.

In letters to attorneys for each of the three students last fall, prosecutors said that while each student "may not have conducted himself in a responsible or appropriate manner, his behavior did not rise to the level of criminal conduct," according to copies of the letters obtained by The Associated Press through a records request.

Complete coverage of the Steubenville Rape Case on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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