DeWine wants grand jury rape party probe free of local influence

School officials and Steubenville's 27 football coaches could possibly face charges if they knew about the rape but didn't report it.
Associated Press
Mar 22, 2013

A large following of "nameless bloggers" alleging a cover-up of a rape investigation spurred an eastern Ohio judge to ask that someone from outside the community oversee a grand jury looking into new charges related to the assault.

Jefferson County Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr. also asked that outside judges be appointed to prosecute any individuals the grand jury might charge.

In response, Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor of the State Supreme Court on Thursday appointed a retired Summit County judge to handle the grand jury, which meets in April.

Bruzzese noted in his March 14 request "a substantial controversy surrounding this case provoked primarily by nameless bloggers making allegations of cover-up."

"These nameless bloggers, while having produced no evidence of a cover-up have managed to assemble quite a following locally, nationally and internationally," the judge said.

As a result, no local officials should have anything to do with the grand jury proposed by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Bruzzese said.

Two high school football players were convicted Sunday of raping a 16-year-old West Virginia girl in Steubenville last summer after an alcohol-fueled party. One was sentenced to a minimum of one year in juvenile detention, the other to two years.

A special judge, Thomas Lipps of Cincinnati, handled that case, including the five-day trial last week. Immediately afterward, DeWine announced that a grand jury would investigate whether others should faces charges, including anyone who failed to speak up following reports of the rape.

School officials and Steubenville's 27 football coaches could possibly face charges if they knew about the rape but didn't report it because they are among those required by state law to report possible child abuse.

O'Connor appointed retired Judge Patricia Ann Cosgrove to oversee the grand jury.

Cosgrove is no stranger to high-profile cases. In 2011, she handled the trial of Kelley Williams-Bolar, an Akron woman convicted of falsifying documents to enroll her daughters in the Copley-Fairlawn schools from 2006 to 2008. Gov. John Kasich later reduced the felony convictions to misdemeanors.

In 2005, Cosgrove convicted a prominent Akron restaurant owner's wife of aiding in the drive-by shooting death of a former lover by the third member of a love triangle. Cosgrove sentenced Cynthia George to 20 years to life following the nonjury trial.

Two years later, George was released from prison after the 9th Ohio District Court of Appeals in Akron overturned Cosgrove's decision, ruling the judge lacked sufficient evidence to convict George.

 

Comments

Phil Packer

This is such a waste of time and money. Amazing. Put this much effort into bring jobs back to Ohio maybe?

DickTracey

He is creating jobs. There will be all kinds of openings for new coaches, after he gets rid of these Penn State like, cover up coaches.

luvblues2

I still can't wrap my head around 27 coaches for a HS football team. Even if the defense and offense were separate players for both squads, that's more than one coach per player. WTF?

eriemom

My reaction exactly--27 high school football coaches? Do the Cleveland Browns have that many? It has to be a typo.

beatstreet

Why is this a waste of time?

beatstreet

Why is this a waste of time?

Silvia

So Phil let me get this striaght you are saying this is a waste of time ??? So if this was your daughter that was raped and they wanted to get to the bottom of this you would still feel it was a waste of time ?? I sure hope you have to never endure something like what this family is going through. Be careful what you say cause Karma comes in full circle !!

Truth or Dare

Didn't realize that addressing/investigating the alleged, possible cover-up of what amounts to being Gang Raped would be a waste of time! A waste of time and $$$ for who? Addressing the issue of Rape within this country, especially now with it finally being addressed within our own Military in hearings, I guess that would be a waste of time and $$$'s as well? It's only a waste and inconvenience for those that perpetuate such violence against women/girls, or men/boys for that matter, and those that would continue what's referred to as Re-Victimization and would deter a victim from considering to press charges! Then again, with this being 2013 and it taking our own Military this long to address the subject of rape within their rank and file, publicly, well it better explains the willingness of far too many within our society that would prefer to continue to ignore it. It's way past the time! Something that we as a collective Nation should be ashamed of!

Way I see it, there are more than likely quite a few rape victims that are sitting back and thanking these so-called "anonymous" bloggers. So, on behalf of such victims, thank you "Anonymous"! I have a feeling they'll be watching this, closely.

We'll see how ba!!sy our OAG is, won't we, let alone the Grand Jury. Where will they come from, and just how ba!!sy will they be when it comes to prosecuting anyone, and that includes LE, the courts and any other adults, school officials, coaches or students that suggested or helped get rid of evidence, that may have intimidated witnesses. I'm hoping he's keeping in mind that a bill was recently passed, signed into law. It's meant to protect all women within our country in regards to domestic violence or sexual assault. As a voter, I'll continue to follow this case and how our OAG handles his part.

deertracker

Why cry now? Were you crying when you were violating that young girl? Man up boy. You are about to learn that your male anatomy does not make you a man. Karma is coming for you and rightfully so!

MBR

"...while having produced no evidence of a cover-up..."

This is not the case. There is plenty of evidence that points to adults having supplied alcohol for these minors and helping erase the trail of evidence once they learned of the crime that had been committed.

FST

Those boys are lucky it wasn`t my daughter, or any girl in my family. They never would have seen the inside of a court room.

kURTje

If there is more wrong on this subject it would great to see any more wrong doers get their lives rocked.Agree with you truth or dare; though you left out boys too. Rape in any form is wrong.