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2 Teens To Plead Not Guilty In Steubenville Death Threat Case

STEUBENVILLE (KDKA/AP) - Two Ohio teens accused of making online threats against a rape victim are scheduled for their first court appearance.

The 15 and 16-year-old Jefferson County girls have been held in juvenile detention in Steubenville since their arrest last week.

The girls are expected to enter the juvenile court equivalent of a not guilty plea Wednesday.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said the girls posted threatening comments on Twitter on March 17, the day two high school football players were convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl last summer. The case roiled the town of Steubenville and stirred reaction from activists online.

DeWine's office said the tweets threatened homicide and bodily harm against the rape victim.

The attorney for the 16-year-old declined to comment, and the attorney for the 15-year-old did not return a message.

On March 19, Judge Kerr reviewed the charges filed against both girls, which include a felony count of intimidating a witness and misdemeanor counts of aggravated menacing and telecommunications harassment.

The two tweets in question read:

"I'll celebrate by beating the (expletive) out of Jane Doe."

"You ripped my family apart, you made my cousin cry, so when I see you (expletive) it's going to be a homicide."

If they were found to be guilty of the felony intimidating a witness charge, they could serve a minimum of six months. The two misdemeanor charges carry lesser penalties.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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