crimesider

Steubenville Rape Case Update: William Rhinaman, school employee, charged with tampering with evidence

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

Activists from the online group 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) - A Steubenville school employee has been charged with interfering with a criminal matter related to the rape of a 16-year-old girl by two high school football players last year.

PICTURES: Steubenville Rape Trial

William Rhinaman, 53, is charged with tampering with evidence, obstructing justice, obstructing official business and perjury.

Without elaborating, Attorney General Mike DeWine said the charges are related to Rhinaman's job as a Steubenville city schools' information technology employee.

The charges are the first to come out of a grand jury whose formation was announced on March 17, 2013, the same day Trent Mays and Ma'Lik Richmond were convicted of the August 2012 rape in a juvenile court. The grand jury is investigating whether adults such as coaches or school administrators knew of the rape allegation but failed to report it as required by state law.

Allegations of a cover-up dogged the case, despite charges brought against the boys shortly after the attack. Attention was fueled by online activists who said more football players should have been charged. Three teens who saw the attacks, including two players, were granted immunity in exchange for their testimony.

On April 30, the day the grand jury began work, investigators searched Steubenville High School and the local school board offices.

Investigators also searched Vestige Digital Investigations, a digital forensics storage company in Medina, in northeast Ohio. The company's connection to the case was unclear, and it has denied it's the subject of a criminal investigation.

Rhinaman, 53, was scheduled to make his first court appearance Wednesday.

DeWine said the grand jury investigation is continuing.

Defense attorney Stephen Lamatrice says Rhinaman's position is that he did nothing wrong. He declined to comment further.

  • Crimesider Staff

Comments

Follow Us

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.