Lawyer insists teen, family wanted Ohio rape case pursued
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The lawyer for a 16-year-old girl raped by two Ohio high school football players is disputing a prosecutor's account that the girl's father initially wanted the investigation into the case dropped.
The prosecutor said on Wednesday that she stands by her earlier statement.
The lawyer, Bob Fitzsimmons, said the girl and her family were only taking time to consider the effects of an investigation on their daughter and her mental health, including the possibility of her testifying.
“At no time did the parents request to terminate the investigation and proceedings,” Fitzsimmons wrote in an email this week. “They fully cooperated with law enforcement throughout all of the proceedings.”
The two boys were found guilty last month of raping the girl after an alcohol-fueled party in August.
Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin had said investigators decided to pursue the case even after the victim's father asked that it be dropped, the Steubenville Herald-Star reported Sunday.
Her office couldn't take the time to wait on the family because evidence needed to be preserved, she said.
“We have to collect all the evidence and do as many interviews as we can before the evidence disappears,” Hanlin said.
A 14-member grand jury is scheduled to begin hearing evidence April 30 regarding whether any other laws were broken. They will examine allegations that some adults, including the head football coach, may have known about the assault early. Teachers and coaches are among officials required by Ohio law to report abuse.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Wolf to outline charter school plan in budget address
- 1 killed in Lawrence County tractor-trailer crash
- Husband charged in ax murder of wife hangs himself in cell
- As House looks to dismantle state stores, hybrid system might be option
- Western Pennsylvania shivers toward record for coldest February
- ‘Tipping point’ near for Pa. government, conservative expert predicts at Freedom Forum
- Cochranton farm specializes in growing out-of-season vegetables