Grand Jury Of Steubenville Rape Case Charges School Employee With Evidence Tampering

| by Jonathan Wolfe

After two Steubenville, Ohio football players were handed prison sentences for their rape of a 16-year-old girl last August, the grand jury presiding over the case promised they were not done with their investigations. Members of the jury said they would continue looking into whether officials and faculty members from Steubenville High School tried to cover up evidence of the rape.

Today, the jury issued their first charges. 53-year-old William Rhinaman has been charged with tampering with evidence, obstructing justice, obstructing official business and perjury.  Rhinaman is the technology director at Steubenville City Schools.

“This is the first indictment in an ongoing grand jury investigation,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said. “Our goal remains to uncover the truth, and our investigation continues.”

The indictment states that Rhinaman’s tampering with evidence charge dates from August 11, 2012 – April 25, 2013. August 11, 2012 is the night that football players Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond raped their victim.

The obstructing justice charge dates from April 8, 2013- October 4, 2013 and states that Rhinaman tried to stop the persecution of another person by concealing or destroying evidence. Similarly, the obstructing official business charge alleges that Rhinaman tried to interfere with a public official’s work. Finally, the perjury charge states that Rhinaman lied while testifying under oath on July 8, 2013.

Bob Fitzsimmons, the attorney of the rape victim, spoke to CNN about the jury’s indictment.

“I think it’s important that this shows some fruits from the investigative grand jury, and also considers the importance of those responsible for reporting and/or preserving evidence after a crime is committed involving a child, in this case a girl 16 years of age,” he said.

Rhinaman is now being held in Jefferson County Jail without bond. If convicted, he will serve up to four years in prison

Sources: ABC, Think Progress, CNN