Steubenville Superintendent Among Four Indicted for Crimes Related to Rape Case

By Evie Blad — November 25, 2013 1 min read
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Steubenville Schools Superintendent Michael McVey is among four additional people charged with crimes related to the rape of a teenage girl in the tight-knit Ohio town, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Monday. [UPDATE (Tuesday, 3:15 p.m.): Following the announcement, the Steubenville school board held an emergency meeting to place McVey and two other indicted employees on administrative leave.]

The indictments follow a grand jury investigation into the circumstances surrounding the rape.

Speculation has long swirled that members of the community failed to report the rape or covered up evidence of the crime. Two Steubenville High School football players were found guilty of the rape in March.

Following a national uproar that spread quickly through social media, the district hired unarmed security guards to monitor its schools.

McVey was indicted of two counts of obstructing justice and one count each of tampering with evidence, making a false statement, and obstructing official business. If convicted on all counts, McVey could serve up to seven years and 270 days in prison, DeWine said. That would be a longer sentence than either of the convicted football players faces.

DeWine also announced an indictment of Matthew Belardine, 26, a former volunteer assistant football coach, on charges that carry a maximum sentence of one year and 265 days in jail. They include: “underage persons offenses concerning beer or intoxicating liquor,” obstructing official business, making a false statement, and contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a child.

Two other indictments announced Monday, to the other two employees the school board placed on leave, bring the total to six. They are Seth Fluharty, 26, an assistant wrestling coach and special education teacher with the district, and Lynnett Gorman, 40, the principal of West Elementary in Steubenville. Each was indicted on a single count of failure to report child abuse or neglect.

In October, the grand jury indicted William Rhinaman, the schools’ information technology director, on charges of tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice, obstructing official business, and perjury, CNN reported. His daughter, Hannah Rhinaman, 20, was also indicted on two counts of receiving stolen property and one count of grand theft, the report said.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.