Grand jury result leaves questions
Steubenville finally got a result from a special grand jury led by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, and the result raises more questions.
DeWine’s been investigating the roles of people beyond the two juveniles convicted in the sexual assault of a teenage girl in August 2012 by two Steubenville High School football players, a crime that in itself was awful enough. Left to its own devices, the case is one of juvenile criminal conduct that would have lost notoriety once the prosecution was completed.
The case, however, has a life beyond the two perpetrators with the involvement of people, known and unknown, from far and wide, calling into question the conduct of the investigation over the Internet and through protests.
While the criminal investigation of the case led to prosecution of two young men, questions about the roles of adults both in the events of that night and its aftermath mean much more needs to be known.
The allegations of cover-ups and questions about the roles of adults led to the ongoing grand jury probe. Monday’s indictment of a technology administrator from the school district would indicate DeWine and the grand jury found probable cause to believe at least a technological attempt occurred to cover up who knew what, and when.
The indictment of the official leads to more questions about who made the decisions that led to actions that caused the charges of tampering and obstruction to be filed. Was it a case of one man acting on his own to protect others, or was there a more organized effort at work? And, is the role of the school system all that the grand jury is considering?
We caution those who have rushed to judgment throughout the case that the man charged is exactly that: A man who went to work, has a family and friends and who is not Public Enemy No. 1. He did not have anything to do with events that led to the unfortunate rape of a girl, but he is accused of something occurring beyond that crime.
We also note that DeWine said it is the first indictment, indicating the grand jury will have other findings. We hope those will be coming soon, because the specter of the case continues to hang over Steubenville’s reputation. Only when the extent of the case is known can any effort to move ahead and correct the conditions that led to the chain of events take place.
The case begins to take on an almost Watergate feel, where the crime was bad enough but the attempts to cover up who knew what and when have a life of their own.
We hope more is known once the indictment is unsealed.
We also urge DeWine to move quickly and make the grand jury’s findings known.
The lives of families, a school system and an entire city depend on finding, someday, a picture of the truth and an end to a nightmare.