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School Officials Accused Of Obstruction In Steubenville Rape Case


Four school employees are now facing criminal charges growing out of their alleged roles in failing to actively investigate rape accusations. The charges grew out of a grand jury looking into a case of rape allegations against a number of student football players at Steubenville High School. The 16-year-old girl who accused the students of rape was not a student at the school. Two football players were later convicted of a sex offense, and each of them was sentenced to a minimum of a year's incarceration.

The latest charges include the indictment of the 50-year-old male school superintendent of the city schools on an accusation of obstruction of justice. The elementary school's principal and two other school employees were charged with lesser misdemeanor offenses.

While the charges were lodged against the four defendants, the prosecuting attorney general, did not spell out the details of the substance of the charges. Other sources, however, revealed that the charges did not revolve around the well-publicized rape accusations that led to the convictions of the two football players. Rather, they arose out of an earlier alleged rape occurring in April of 2012.

That accusation was asserted by a 14-year-old who was a student at the school who indicated that they were encouraged to come forward because of all the massive publicity over the other case. The massive publicity and concern about the accusations against the football players caused the convening of a grand jury over suggestions that some school employees may have enabled and covered up such conduct.

This case has received an incredible amount of publicity, but it's important to remember that these school district employees have not been found guilty. That responsibility will fall on the shoulders of prosecutors who must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Criminal defense attorneys will work diligently to dispute the charges and protect the rights of the defendants.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, "Schools chief, principal among 4 indicted in Steubenville rape case" Trip Gabriel, Nov. 26, 2013