Superintendent charged in Steubenville rape case

The superintendent of the Steubenville City Schools and three others were served indictments on Monday on various charges surrounding the 2012 rape of a teenage girl by two Steubenville High School students.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced on Monday five charges, including felony charges related to tampering with evidence against Steubenville Superintendent Michael McVey.

DeWine announced that the special grand jury convened to investigate how others may have interfered with a criminal matter is now finished. Two other people were indicted in October, and charges on Monday were also announced for a Steubenville elementary school principal, a wrestling coach and a former volunteer assistant coach for the football team on charges related to serving alcohol to minors.

The rape investigation centered around a series of parties held on a night in August 2012. Two Steubenville football players were found guilty last March, and the case brought unprecedented outside attention to football-crazed Steubenville and the town’s relationship with its high school football team, the Big Red.

DeWine said the special grand jury met during 18 separate days and talked to 123 individual witnesses — some more than once. DeWine described those proceedings as “secret” and said unless new evidence is uncovered, no one else will be charged. Longtime Steubenville head football coach Reno Saccocia’s name appeared in text messages sent by one of the defendants during the trial but he was not charged.

DeWine said the grand jury “considered it all. Nothing was held back from them. If a person was not indicted it simply means there was not probable cause to believe (that person) committed a crime.”

DeWine lamented the damage the case has done to Steubenville and the reputation of the schools and community leaders. He said the grand jury’s findings reinforce his feeling that “this community has been torn apart by bad decisions of the few, not of the many.”

The indictments, DeWine said, were filed last Friday and served this morning. The most serious charges were filed against McVey, including obstructing justice. The elementary school principal was charged with failure to report child abuse or neglect.

The grand jury previously charged the Steubenville schools’ information technology director with tampering with evidence, obstructing justice, obstructing official business and perjury. The jury also indicted that man’s daughter on theft and receiving stolen property charges unrelated to the rape case.

All four people indicted on Monday are due in court next week.