Ohio teen rape case grand jury enters 3rd day
By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS AP Legal Affairs Writer May 2, 2013 4:14PM
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An eastern Ohio grand jury continued to investigate Thursday whether other laws were broken in the case of a 16-year-old girl raped by two high school football players last summer.
One of the issues before the panel is whether adults like coaches or school administrators knew of the rape allegation but failed to report it as required by Ohio law.
The 14-person panel which convened Tuesday will meet three or four times a week with no deadline to finish its work. Attorney General Mike DeWine has said nothing is off the table for the panel.
Speculation that school officials could be targeted increased last week after investigators searched Steubenville High School and offices of the city school board.
Text messages introduced as evidence in the football players’ March trial indicated that head football coach Reno Saccoccia may have known about the rape early on.
The coach “took care of it,” defendant Trent Mays said in one text introduced by prosecutors.
“Like he was joking about it so I’m not worried,” Mays said in another text.
Saccoccia has not commented and school officials he won’t be made available until after the grand jury concludes.
Saccoccia is in the third year of a five-year coaching contract and earlier this year had a two-year contract renewed for his job as an administrator in a Steubenville alternative school.
Mays, 17, was convicted of raping the West Virginia girl and of photographing the underage girl naked and sentenced to two years in the state juvenile prison system. Co-defendant Ma’Lik Richmond, 16, was convicted of raping the girl and sentenced to a year in juvenile prison.
Andrew Welsh-Huggins can be reached on Twitter at https://twitter.com/awhcolumbus.