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Steubenville superintendent, coaches indicted in rape probe

An Ohio grand jury has indicted the superintendent of Steubenville City Schools, the assistant football coach of Steubenville High School and two other school employees for their behavior in the aftermath of the rape of a 16-year-old in August 2012 by two football players.

On March 17, a judge convicted 16-year-old Ma’lik Richmond and 17-year-old Trent Mays of raping a 16-year-old girl while she was intoxicated. Mays was also convicted of distributing photographs of the victim while she was naked.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the indictments of four people on Monday. Steubenville Schools Superintendent Mike McVey is charged with obstructing official business, obstruction of justice and falsification; Matthew Bellardine, Steubenville High School's volunteer assistant football coach, is charged with allowing underage drinking, obstructing official business and making false statements; Seth Fluharty, a wrestling coach and teacher at Steubenville High School, is charged with failure to report child abuse; Lynette Gorman, the principal of Pugliese Elementary, is also charged with failure to report child abuse.

During the teens’ trial, testimony indicated that Steubenville High School’s football coach, Reno Saccoccia, may have known about the rape allegations before police were alerted.

On Oct. 8, William Rhinaman, 53, was charged with tampering with evidence, obstructing justice, obstructing official business and perjury. Rhinaman had been an information technology employee at Steubenville city schools.

“What happened here is not unique to Steubenville,” said DeWine. “This started out being about the kids. It is also just as much about the parents, the grown-ups, the adults. How do you hold kids accountable if you don’t hold adults responsible?”

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