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DeWine set to address new grand jury developments

November 25, 2013
By DAVE GOSSETT - Staff writer (dgossett@heraldstaronline.com) , Weirton Daily Times

STEUBENVILLE - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine was set to hold a press conference at 11 a.m. today to discuss new developments in the special grand jury that has been investigating whether additional crimes were committed regarding the Steubenville teen rape case.

DeWine was set to meet with area reporters at the Eastern Gateway Community College Pugliese Center.

The 14-member grand jury met for four straight days last week to hear testimony and review evidence in the case that began with alcohol-fueled parties in August 2012 that ended with a Weirton teenage girl being raped by two Steubenville High School students.

The grand jury has been meeting since April to investigate whether any adults knew of the rape last year but failed to report it as required by Ohio law.

So far the grand jury has issued indictments against William Rhinaman, the former director of technology for the Steubenville City School district, and his daughter, Hannah Rhinaman, who worked for the school district for approximately one month last year.

William Rhinaman was arrested on Oct. 7 and later entered a not guilty plea to charges including tampering with evidence, obstructing justice, obstructing official business and perjury.

DeWine called the secret indictment naming Rhinaman "the first indictment issued by the special grand jury reviewing whether additional crimes were committed regarding the Steubenville teen rape case."

Hannah Rhinaman was indicted by the special grand jury on Oct. 23 on two counts of receiving stolen property and one count of theft from her two months work as a contract employee for the Steubenville City School district.

"She took property from the school district and sold it," said DeWine during a telephone interview last month.

Hannah Rhinaman also entered a not guilty plea during her arraignment.

DeWine said the indictment against Hannah Rhinaman was not related to the charges against her father.

Both Rhinamans are scheduled for a Dec. 9 pre-trial hearing before visiting Summit County retired Judge Patricia Ann Cosgrove.

Cosgrove was appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court to oversee the special grand jury investigating the Steubenville rape case.

William Rhinaman retired from the city school district effective Nov. 1.

He had been placed on a paid leave of absence by the school board after his indictment by the special grand jury.

The grand jury has worked off and on since beginning work April 30.

"The grand jury work is not done and the panel will continue to meet. Our goal is to find the truth. Some investigations take time and this investigation is ongoing. I am not going to speculate on future indictments. That wouldn't be fair. But the grand jury will continue meeting. This is certainly not the end of our investigation. Additional testimony will be taken and evidence will be examined," DeWine said in an October interview.

(Gossett can be contacted at dgossett@heraldstaronline.com.)

 
 

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