Matthew Belardine, a former volunteer football coach at Steubenville (Ohio) High School, was found guilty on Tuesday for offenses related to the rape of a 16-year-old girl in 2012.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the verdict of Visiting Judge Patricia Ann Cosgrove, who found Belardine guilty after he pleaded no contest to a first-degree misdemeanor charge of underage persons offenses concerning “beer or intoxicating liquor” and a first-degree misdemeanor count of falsification. A grand jury first charged Belardine with those two counts, along with a second-degree misdemeanor count of obstructing official business and a first-degree misdemeanor count of contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a child, back in November 2013. (Those latter two charges were dismissed on Tuesday.)
Had Belardine been convicted on all four counts, he could have served up to one year and 265 days in jail. Instead, the judge sentenced him to 10 days in jail, one year of community control, and 40 hours of community service, along with a fine of $1,000 ($500 for each count).
Bellardine must serve 10 days in jail, pay $500/charge and do 40 hrs of community service. pic.twitter.com/FPnXOFkbai
-- Sara Yingling (@SYinglingWTRF) April 22, 2014
On the night of the rape, a party was held at Belardine’s house, according to DeWine, which both the suspects and victim attended. He was the only adult at said party.
“The court feels that there has to be some penalty here for what you did, for lying to law enforcement and covering this up,” the judge said, according to a report from WTRF 7 News’ Sara Yingling. "...I don’t know what is going on in your mind when you think it’s OK to lie to the police when they are trying to find out what happened at a subsequent party.”
Belardine’s 10-day sentence will begin on Friday, according to Yingling. Of the six adults who were indicted by the grand jury—not all of whom were indicted in connection with the rape—only two have cases that remain open. William Rhinaman, the district’s director of technology, had a pre-trial hearing scheduled for today, while Michael McVey, the superintendent of the district, has a motion hearing scheduled for May 5, per DeWine. The trial date for McVey is expected to be determined at that hearing, according to the
A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.