Indian Creek to foot bill for Mays’ education

STEUBENVILLE – The Indian Creek Local School District will be responsible for the education costs for Trent Mays, 18, who was sentenced to a state juvenile detention facility in connection with the Steubenville rape case.

Visiting Judge Tom Lipps issued the ruling Monday, correcting a previous ruling that forced Steubenville City Schools to pay for the education costs.

Mays was convicted of rape and illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material for allegedly having a picture of the 16-year-old victim in the Steubenville rape in an outgoing text message on his cell phone.

Lipps sentenced Mays to two years at the Ohio Department Youth Services. Lipps approved Mays being sent to the Paint Creek Lighthouse Youth Center, a privately run facility for juvenile sex offenders.

Ma’Lik Richmond, 18, was sentenced to one year on the rape charge and released in January.

Lipps presided over a hearing on May 20, when attorneys for both school districts made arguments on which district should pay the education costs of Mays, estimated at around $30,000.

Mays’ parents reside in the Indian Creek district but he was an open-enrollment student at Steubenville High School when he was charged.

After Mays was found guilty, Lipps put in his order that Steubenville was responsible for his education. Steubenville schools paid for the cost of the education of Mays while he was in the detention facility during the 2012-13 school year .

Mays did not file for open enrollment for the 2013-14 school year, so Steubenville didn’t submit his name to the state education department for funding. Mays was not attending Indian Creek, so that district also didn’t submit his name to the state for funding.

State funding for a student is based on the address of a parent.

Lipps corrected his order on which district should pay the costs for the 2013-14 school year and the upcoming school year. Lipps ordered the state education department to make funding available to Indian Creek for the previous school year and for the coming year.

Mays is not scheduled to be released from state custody until the middle of the coming school year.

T.C. Chappelear, Indian Creek superintendent, said the district will comply with Lipps’ ruling. He said it is “fair and right” for the district to get state funding for Mays because it is his home school district.

Melinda Young, Steubenville City Schools interim superintendent, wasn’t available for comment.