Steubenville Rape Case: Ohio judge won't relocate football players' rape trial

People protest at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Steubenville, Ohioon Jan. 5, 2013. Authorities investigating rape accusations against two high school football players in eastern Ohio launched a website to combat the misperception "that the football team runs the city," the city manager said.
AP Photo/The Plain Dealer, Thomas Ondrey
Protesters outside the Jefferson County Courthouse in Steubenville, Ohio on Jan. 5, 2013. Some say they are outraged over what they contend is a cover-up in the rape case that involves high school football players.
Thomas Ondrey,AP Photo/The Plain Dealer

(AP) STEUBENVILLE, Ohio - A judge has ruled to keep the upcoming rape trial of two Ohio high school football players in the county were the alleged attack happened.

Judge Thomas Lipps on Wednesday sided with prosecutors who didn't want the case moved out of Jefferson County in eastern Ohio. He rejected arguments by attorneys for the two defendants that moving it would cut down on witness intimidation and harassment.

The defense lawyers say that some potential witnesses have been threatened and that a county with a bigger courthouse would help protect such witnesses.

The judge also ruled that the trial will now start on March 13 and that it should be open to the public.

The football players are accused of attacking the girl twice after an alcohol-fueled party in mid-August 2012 in Steubenville.

Complete coverage of the Steubenville Rape Case on Crimesider